March 31, 2019
Here there is not…circumcised and uncircumcised.
Reading this passage in the Bible we notice several significant groups of people with different characteristics.
The Jews claimed their faith in the one and holy God and their selection as God’s people. As a sign of their covenant with God, the Jews were circumcised. However, to other great nations circumcision wasn’t important, they were proud of other aspects.
The Greeks could boast of their list of philosophers, mathematical skills and their ability to develop complex theories. The Scythians were mighty horse people in ancient times and ruled over vast areas in southern Siberia and eastern Europe.
In the same phrase, the free person who had power over the slave, is listed along with the unfree. The slave often didn’t have a dominant characteristic to be proud of; nevertheless, he is highly valued in this verse. In the eyes of Jesus Christ the unfree appears on the same level as the others.
Obviously, the Lord doesn’t value circumcision, intellectual knowledge, being free or not, or being excellent and impressive warriors as the barbarian Scythians and other nomadic people were.
What does this mean to us today? We are tempted to boast of our special abilities and self-defined qualities such as having a bright mind, an excellent university degree, being a successful salesperson, an influential politician, respectable scientist or well-known writer.
I wonder if Jesus really is impressed when we boast of our social, intellectual and even religious standards. Which is more valuable: To help our neighbor in need, to listen carefully to somebody in sorrow, to visit the ill in the hospital, to support aging parents or to receive awards and have material and social success?
What do we want Jesus Christ to see in us?