There is a natural human tendency toward elitism. The need to feel we’re better than others. We’re more intelligent, more gifted, more beautiful, and more understanding. We get it more right more often than others. Therefore, we deserve more respect, more honors, more recognition and more stuff.
This elitism divides us racially, ethnically, spiritually and globally. It produces strife and wars. It divides where Jesus never intended there to be divisions.
Consider this example from the ministry of Jesus as told by Mark.
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
I don’t believe and I refuse to believe that all believers look like me. (I certainly hope not and the world does too!We don’t look the same, dress the same, speak the same language or come from the same culture. We enjoy different genres of music, read different translations of the scriptures and gather with different groups of believers, often looking like us and enjoying the same things we do.
What or who we have in common is Jesus. We believe Jesus is the Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is the image of the invisible who took upon himself human flesh so he might take upon himself our sins. He became our substitute. He paid our price. He died for our sins. He has, therefore, been given a name which is above every name. He has all authority and calls us, with all of our differences, to follow him.