Day 5: March 23

Imagine for a second that your friend is working as a server at a local restaurant. You know he’s working on a particular night, and you and a few others decide to go out and sit in his section. But when you get there, you see the night is going horribly for your friend. The place is understaffed. Guests aren’t happy. Your friend is not having a good night at work. Even though you’re a paying customer, what would you say to your friend?

“Don’t worry about us! We’re fine. Come back and take care of us when you can. We can wait. No problem.”

And you’d feel good about doing that. You’re doing something nice for your friend. You’re giving him a break.

But according to Dr. Richard Beck, the author of the book Unclean, there has been no significant moral demonstration on your part. As Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount, some of which appears in Luke 6, even the pagans do that. Everybody takes care of their own people.

A mark of Jesus followers is how we think about and treat the people who are not our people. It’s when we offer the same hospitality to those who look different, vote differently, or live differently. It’s when we truly see those people as just as valuable as anyone else.

As Jesus said, Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:35–36)

“Heavenly Father, help me see people like you see them. And help me treat them like you, through Christ, have treated me. Amen.”

That’s it for now. Before next time, Luke Chapter 8.

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