Are we God's Gatekeepers?
Recently, a public figure was denied communion by a church clergy due to his political beliefs. This hurt my heart. This hurts me because Jesus never asked us to make sure that others are good enough to come to Him.
In the Last Supper (the original communion), without identifying him, Jesus announced that Judas would betray him. Then Jesus served Judas communion. (Matthew 26:17-30)
Jesus never put restrictions on who was worthy of receiving communion.
Judas had already made arrangements to hand Jesus over to the chief priests. Jesus was very aware of Judas’s greed, and the atrocity that Judas was in the process of carrying out. By handing Jesus over, not only was Judas betraying Jesus, he was assisting in his murder. In today’s terms, he was guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Jesus served him communion anyway.
Matthew 26:26-27 Then he (Jesus) took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
Communion is remembering and appreciating Jesus's sacrifice for us. His broken body and blood that was poured out was the reason we are all able to come directly to God through Jesus.
Under the law of the Old Testament, only consecrated priests who were considered to be clean by the sacrifice of a pure animal were allowed to enter the Holy Temple to be in the presence of God.
At the very moment that Jesus died, the temple curtain that separated people from God was torn in two, which meant that there is now nothing that can keep us from coming to God directly. Jesus sacrificed himself so that His righteousness made up for our short-comings. The Old Testament Law was performance-based. Under that justice system, we had to be good enough which was impossible without a sacrificial death.
That’s why Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
We tend to think that we’re only accepted by God when we become good enough for Him. The truth is, He meets us right where we are and then calls us into more. We need to do the same for others.
Instead of trying to deny people access to Jesus and telling them to come back when they're good enough, let’s show them what it looks like to live in truth by having vulnerable conversations with them in kindness and gentleness. This is the way we would want to be treated.
We may be tempted to judge others and try to determine whether they're truly saved or not based on their political and social beliefs, but there is only One who is worthy to judge, and that is God.
You won't want to miss next week, Establishing a Routine with God Now Can Help You Quickly Move Through Slumps Later at Own Your Victory!