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Us vs Them

If you are a human being, which is likely if you are reading this, then have news for you: you are pretty good at building walls between yourself and others.

                Yes. You, and I as well, are naturally skilled at playing the game of us vs them.

                Them, being people we feel we need to protect ourselves from.

                Let me explain.

Many see the diversity or differences between us as a problem. This is extremely obvious nationwide, where each political party invites you to consider the other side as a threat to all you hold dear about the USA. Naturally, you build a wall between and all who hate America! With our racial tensions or our pandemic situation, the result ends up being similar. Unable to hear each other’s stories and take a stance for community and care, we end up seeing each other as a problem and a threat to all that is good and sensical.

Do we do this with religion too? Christians of different denominations have a very easy time in seeing themselves as ‘God’s Church’, while every other denomination is just trying its best to keep up with us. We have the truth, and everyone doesn’t. Right? And what about those from your own Church family that do not believe exactly like you? Oh, they are also the reason why we are not as good as we could be, right?


In his Gospel, Matthew makes a point to tell his Jewish audience that these walls are opposed to God himself. Israel had built walls around itself, seeing other nations as a threat to their privileged relationship with God and their integrity as a nation. Only they were God’s people, and as such, only they were entitled to a Messiah. Everyone else was less than and a potential threat to their promised Messiah.

And what does Matthew do?

He puts three women in Jesus’ genealogy. All of them gentiles. Foreigners! Then, who comes seeking the Messiah? Not Herod, not the religious leaders, but wise men from foreign lands. Who comes to Jesus when his ministry is just beginning? The people considered the bottom of Israel’s barrel along with, you guessed it, foreigners. And according to Jesus, who was the recipient of a faith greater than any Jew in Israel? A Roman. Yes.

And right after this bold statement, Jesus says something even bolder. Something that the prophets of old had been saying for hundreds of years. The ‘us vs them’, the walls between us, where to be destroyed: “I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 8:11).

People will come from every direction and, along with Abraham and his descendants, enjoy the blessings of a Covenant relationship with their Creator. The God of Israel is the God of the world, and his love for Israel is also for the whole world. Therefore, why would you build a wall when God’s embrace is universal?

Don’t build the wall Christ died to tear down.