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Race Relations

One of the most treasured encounters in the NT is the meeting that took place between an olive-skinned Jew named Philip and a black-skinned Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). The location was the Gaza desert south of Jerusalem; the occasion a return trip from Jerusalem to Ethiopia by the eunuch in a chariot; the motivation an instruction to Philip by the Spirit to approach the chariot, engage its passenger

What Philip found was an Ethiopian reading an OT passage in Isaiah 53, a passage describing the suffering Servant of Jehovah (a.k.a., Jesus of Nazareth). The Ethiopian’s interest in the meaning of Isaiah 53 was of far more importance to him than skin color, nationality or societal status. Philip was a vagabond preacher; the Ethiopian a man of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. In modern parlance, he was her Secretary of the Treasury. 

Philip took Isaiah 53 and began to “preach Jesus” to the man. In the process of evangelization, he no doubt called attention to 53:6: “And the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us ALL.” The atonement made in Jesus’ blood for the sins of the WHOLE world was the greater truth that established a bond between these two men—so different, yet both the objects of God’s love for sinners, for ALL sinners without regard for nationality or skin color. 

America is in desperate need of healing in terms of race relations. There is NO greater remedy for racial strife than a renewed understanding of the Cross and what God accomplished there on behalf of ALL men—black, white and everything in between.

America’s great need for racial healing is exacerbated by the fact our political elites want to rid America of Jesus of Nazareth and the truth he represents. Racial strife will persist and grow as long as people continue to reject the ONLY true remedy. Police reforms, laws and false narratives have NO chance of bridging the racial divide that’s destroying America. 

As olive-skinned Philip and the black-skinned Ethiopian discovered, there’s NOTHING like the Gospel of the grace of God to establish commonality and friendly ground between those for whom Jesus died and rose again. At the conclusion of the encounter, the eunuch went on his way REJOICING, Philip to do more PREACHING! Scripture tells us the two never saw each other again in this life (8:39). But for the last 2,000 years, they’ve shared in heaven the company of Jesus, the One that made them one in him!

One who loves God has no problem loving those whom God loves. The problem with race relations in America is not that we have TOO MANY racists, but TOO FEW that love God!


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