Skip to main content

You’re not all that

billy huynh v9bnfMCyKbg unsplash da45f146
Of all the paradigms that define us, perhaps the most universal and deep-seated is the paradigm of exclusivity – the one that says we’re more special than others.  The Jews may be God’s chosen people, but the rest of us have been putting ourselves at the center of the universe since before C…
By Seth Barnes

Of all the paradigms that define us, perhaps the most universal and deep-seated is the paradigm of exclusivity – the one that says we’re more special than others.  The Jews may be God’s chosen people, but the rest of us have been putting ourselves at the center of the universe since before Copernicus.

It’s normal to think that the world revolves around you.  It took a lot of convincing for the Jews to change their view of their own exclusivity in God’s eyes.  First God gave Peter a vision of a sheet coming down out of Heaven.  As usual with Peter he repeated it three times so Peter would really understand what it meant.

Exclusivity used to be reinforced by diet.  Because as a Jew you are special, you eat only special foods.  But in the vision, God told Peter, “Eat it all”.

Simultaneously, God told Cornelius, a gentile, to look for Peter.  Peter may have been slow on the uptake understanding Jesus shifting paradigms before, but he’d been schooled enough by failure that he was able to make the change.
 

When the rest of the apostles struggled with the paradigm shift, Peter’s account of how God orchestrated the meeting with Cornelius was enough to change their minds.

For a long time, Americans were like the Jews, we believed in “American exceptionalism.”  We believed that we are governed by the same tilted law of averages. “Look at us, we’re exceptional!” We exclaimed.
 
And while it’s true that God loves us and thinks we’re special, he loves others too. Two problems with this: a) we can become arrogant and above reproach and b) we can fail to consider just how special others may be as well.
 
Finding out that others are God’s favorites too is not a bad thing. It can actually be liberating.

Comments (3)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

about team