“His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.” vs. 22
As the gospel writer John wrote his account of Jesus’ life and ministry, he naturally makes reference to the conflict that arose between Jesus and the religious establishment. Unfortunately he often uses the word “Jews” to describe those opponents even though Jesus and his followers were also Jews. We can’t be sure why he consistently uses that term as he writes but we do know that his choice has inadvertently fueled the fire of anti-Semitism for centuries. Whenever Christians have risen up to persecute Jews they’ve used the gospel of John to bolster their fraudulent arguments. Since John says that the Jews killed Jesus, such people feel justified in marginalizing Jewish communities and even murdering them by the millions. Their despicable actions are a part of the church’s history and a reminder that prejudice always quickly rises to the surface whenever there is turmoil and tension. While we can’t turn back the clock or erase the atrocities of the past or justify the church’s past positions, we can determine to chart a different course for the future. We who have made a commitment to follow Jesus must at the very least renounce every act of prejudice and religious bias…it’s the only just and right thing for people of faith to do.
Thought for the Day: Where have I encountered religious bias?