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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Genesis, Chapter 50, Verse 21
So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

Again, Joseph is a precursor of Christ is an example of love and forgiveness of God; therefore mirroring the message of Paul, “Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Christ further advises us in Mathew’s gospel that if we have a brother who sins against us we should 1) go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother 2) if he does not listen; take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses’ and 3) if he refuses to listen to them, tell the church and 4) if he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. (Mt. 18:14-17) One wonders what it means to treat someone as a gentile or tax collector. So, exactly how did Jesus treat Gentiles and tax collectors?  Jesus heals the daughter of the Canaanite woman. He eats with sinners and tax collectors. He heals the Centurion’s servant. He calls a tax collector to be his disciple. Jesus repeatedly invited tax collectors and Gentiles into the kingdom of God. To “let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” doesn’t mean wash our hands of them. It means we need to continue to reach out to those with whom we have a conflict.  We must continue inviting them into the fellowship of the kingdom of God.[1]

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