July 19, 2017


Luke 7:1-10

This man . . . loves our nation and has built our synagogue.

—  Luke 7:4-5

I’m usually open-minded, but there are times when I find myself stereotyping people to the left and right of me politically, even though I have never met them. When a motorcycle club thunders past me on the road, riding their flame-decaled Harley-Davidsons and flying the national flag, I think I know all about “that type.” Or when I read of some people’s exotic theories about food, or see people riding expensive bicycles for exercise and wearing neon, skintight clothes, I stereotype them too. I judge that I don’t have to meet them.

But people have a way of surprising you. The Roman centurion stationed in Capernaum didn’t fit the stereotype the Jews had of the Romans. He loved their nation and had even built a place of worship for them. He was an understanding man, wielding authority compassionately. His servant was sick, and he came to Jesus for healing, believing that Jesus had the power to heal by just saying the word. And the servant was healed!

Next time we find ourselves stereo­typing and dismissing ­others, we should recognize that it’s important to take the time to meet and get to know them. After all, Jesus commands us to love all his creatures. Even if they fit your stereotypes, don’t let that keep you from relating to them. Remember, Jesus loves us all, and we are to follow his example.

Lord, forgive us our prejudices and stupid irritations that stand in the way of loving others. Give us the courage to step out and relate to everyone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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