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A Human or a Stereotype?

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Jesus always met men and women on the level of their need, regardless of who they were or what they had done. 

Jesus met everyone as human beings, never as stereotypes. Stereotypes were as powerful then as they are now. Once a label is placed on a person, the human being vanishes. 

Many labels were given to people in the New Testament….such labels as tax collector, Samaritan, Roman soldier, prostitute, rich young man, Pharisee, sinner, publican, leper. They all appear in the gospel narrative, and every time Jesus completely ignores the label and deals with the person. 

This is certainly true of his encounters with Matthew, Zacchaeus, the traveler on the Jericho road, the centurion, Mary Magdalene, and Nicodemus. Jesus knew the ugly side of society: the brutality of the Roman occupation, the corruption of the tax system, the racial prejudices, the economic injustice, the religious hypocrisy, and the sexual degradation. 

But never once did these factors blind Jesus to the reality of the human being, the unique son or daughter of  God he saw before him.

Thanks to John A. Stroman

Republican, Democrat, Politician, Right-Wing, Left-Wing, White, Black, Brown, Asian, Migrant, Illegal Alien, Billionaire, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender – When Jesus looks on these individuals today, does Jesus see human beings or stereotypes? 

For 84 years of his life my father often saw stereotypes until he was paralyzed from his waist down for the last 15 months of his life and he could not help himself. For the last 15 months of his life he never saw a stereotype again, only a human being. I pray that when he took his last breath he saw Jesus, who never saw a stereotype ever. 

What does it take for YOU to see a person as a human being and not as a stereotype?


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