When it comes to equality and treating everyone equally with the same respect, there is nothing more prevalent in today’s society especially in light of recent events. The world is all about equality, and yet the world is divided against itself on that issue. How are Christians supposed to view equality? Is it something to strive for or does it really matter how we treat people who are different from us?
There seem to be three major categories that the world focuses on in terms of inequality and where we struggle. Racial and ethnic equality is a huge deal and seems to be in the news everyday. There is also a big gender inequality gap that is always prevalent, especially with men versus women in the workforce. Then there is a wealth inequality where we complain about those who are wealthy having too much money and not spreading it to the rest of us. Race, gender, status/wealth. These are the core issues that we deal with everyday, so what does the Bible have to say about these things? Well, the Bible tackles each of these problems, reaching the same solution, Jesus.
In the letter to the Galatians, Paul is writing to encourage the churches in Galatia and he makes some good points as always. In Galatians 3:28, we see a passage that combines all of these issues mentioned above and completely obliterates their boundaries within the context. Let’s begin in verse 26:
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Paul takes the boundaries of this world, the boundaries that divide us and split us in the world, and says that none of those really matter because we are all unified under the Lord Jesus. He says that there is neither Jew nor Gentile (race/ethnic boundary), neither slave nor free (status/wealth boundary), or male nor female (gender boundary). All of these boundaries and dividers are obliterated. They are completely broken down and the only unifying force between everyone is Jesus Christ. Everyone is considered to be one in Jesus despite our backgrounds and status. Since this is true, and it is of everyone who belongs to Christ, then we receive the promise that was made all those years ago to Abraham. Division fades away and peace reigns under Jesus.
The world has so many dividers and categories that we are persuaded to fit or not fit into. The world says it is divided and there is inequality in it. While that may be true, we as Christians can offer the only solution we can, and that is Jesus. When we come together as a family of Jesus or are representing Jesus in our lives, we represent the unity he brings. If there is inequality in the world, we can fight to end it. However, the true fight needs to be about Jesus and how in him, there is no inequality and all are united as one.