All One

Scott Hoezee

Read: Galatians 3:28-29

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (v. 28)

This verse has been called the Magna Carta of the church. Why? Because Paul says that the distinctions that ordinarily drive people apart have been drowned in the waters of baptism. Let the rest of the world keep causing misery on account of ethnic heritage, gender, social status, or skin color. Those who now live in Christ are one.

Make no mistake: this is a radical verse. In Paul’s day the distinctions between Jews and Greeks, between slaves and free people, between men and women were hard and fast. Hierarchies abounded. Strict social rules determined who could do what and when and where. Slaves were property and you could treat them however you wished. Women were second class and did not have the rights of men. And for Jews who had long lived under the occupying powers of non-Jews like the Greeks and Romans, to get past their hatred for these foreign people was no small thing.

But “in Christ,” as the apostle says, everything has changed. In the church there is a greater unity to be sought, a leveling off of hierarchies, an end to treating anyone as second class. This is at once a gift and a calling. We receive our unity in Christ. But we are called to live it out every day so that our sisterhood and brotherhood in Christ may shine. —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: We praise you for our unity in you, O Christ of God!