Love for the Outcasts

Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. Then great multitudes came to Him…Matthew 15:29-30 Is there any excuse or room for prejudice or discrimination among people of faith?

Jesus had traveled to the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, a predominately Gentile region of Galilee, known as Decapolis.

By going there, Jesus crossed social and racial barriers, entering a territory where Jewish people didn’t normally hang out.

He sat down on a mountainside, and crowds started streaming toward Him. These people knew very little about His Jewish heritage or faith, yet they were drawn to Him.

Ministering to His fellow Jews, Jesus often praised someone’s “great faith” or said, “Your faith has healed you” (Mark 5:34). They knew the prophecies about the Messiah. They knew Jewish Scripture. Many of them began to recognize who Jesus was.

But here, in this Gentile territory, racial prejudice and animosity existed in both sides. Many were outcasts, shunned by society and ignorant of Jewish tradition.

But they were drawn to Jesus and brought “the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet.

And He healed them.

No discrimination, no prescription, no questions asked, no fee required. They came to Jesus. And He healed them all.

The people were amazed and began to praise the true God of Israel.

Then He fed them a miraculous meal in which seven loaves and a few small fish multiplied to feed four thousand men, besides women and children—with leftovers.

What a beautiful picture of the position, power, and love of Jesus.

Is there any room for prejudice and discrimination among people of faith?

Jesus answered that question with His actions and His love. No matter who we are, what we know or don’t know, we can all come to Jesus for help and healing. He turns no one away. Ever.

You never know who God might bring your way to challenge some of your prejudices and fears. Jesus showed us what to do. Welcome, love, and minister to those in need in His Name.

DEVOTIONALSRay Bentley