Faithlife Sermons

Prejudice (2)

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Seen mainly in Scripture as a bias against places, peoples and ideas. It is sometimes so firmly rooted as to resist all contrary evidence.

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Prejudice against places

John 1:46 NRSV
Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
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Prejudice against people

Prejudice due to an attitude of superiority

John 7:49 NRSV
But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.”
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Prejudice based on fear or jealousy

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Prejudice against Jesus Christ

John 12:37 NRSV
Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him.
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Prejudice may be based on false assumptions about people’s behaviour

Hostility incorrectly assumed

Genesis 12:11–12 NRSV
When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know well that you are a woman beautiful in appearance; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; then they will kill me, but they will let you live.
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Motives misunderstood

The leaders of Reuben and Gad chose to inhabit the fertile land in Transjordan but they were also prepared to cross the Jordan to help their brothers conquer the land.
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Prejudice in terms of partiality


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People are often prejudiced in favour of their own kind

Matthew 5:46–47 NRSV
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
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Prejudice on grounds of outward appearance or behaviour

James 2:3–4 NRSV
and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
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Prejudice due to race

Esther 3:5–6 NRSV
When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was infuriated. But he thought it beneath him to lay hands on Mordecai alone. So, having been told who Mordecai’s people were, Haman plotted to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
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Partiality forbidden

Exodus 23:3 NRSV
nor shall you be partial to the poor in a lawsuit.
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God is not prejudiced

God is impartial

Acts 10:34 NRSV
Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality,
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Job falsely accuses God of partiality

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Prejudice which no contrary evidence would change

Luke 16:31 NRSV
He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
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The Sadducees’ prejudice against the resurrection

Matthew 22:23 NRSV
The same day some Sadducees came to him, saying there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying,
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