I am less than. The world, others, and my circumstances have been telling me I am less than.
When I was eight years old I tried out for my hometown’s travel baseball team. There were always so many kids that tried out each year that the town always had two teams: A-Team (best) and B-Team (not the best). When the A-Team roster came out, I was surprised to see that my name was not listed, but each year I would try out again in the hopes that one year I could play with the best and against the best. I played for the B-Team for all 5 years I played travel baseball for my hometown. As a kid, this hurt me and made me feel like like I’m not equal to the other kids my age; I felt less than.
Maybe the world has made you like you are less than. Maybe someone belittled you and said you are less than. Maybe you have a disability, disease, or sickness and you feel like you are less than. Maybe you have been believing that you are less than, and maybe there doesn’t seem to be anything telling you anything different.
Let’s check out two things: the example of Rahab and examining if God shows favoritism.
Rehab: The “Less Than” Made Great
There are many people that could be brought up here, but there is one person that should encourage you. There were many reasons why she was seen, and thought of, as “less than,” but her example gives us hope.
We are introduced to Rahab in the book Joshua, and we learn three things that would make her “less than” (Joshua 2:1). First, she is a prostitute. People’s opinions at that time, and still are to this day, would be that she is an outcast and unable to be used for God’s will. Second, she is a Gentile. Not being a part of God’s chosen people, the Israelites, would immediately create a perception as “less than.” Last, she is obviously a woman. No duh. You have to remember that in those times women were sinfully treated and thought of as “less than,” and sadly still are treated with little respect, dignity, and value.
Based on that information, you even might be tempted to not think too much of Rahab. But, there’s more to know.
The full story of Rahab in Joshua was that she heard of all God was doing for the Israelites, and in response to this, she believed the Israelites’ God was the one true God. She welcomed in the Israelite spies, out of her new faith, and only asked them to show her similar kindness as she showed the two men (Joshua 2:8-13). Because of this small act of faith, she has the amazing honor of being in the book or Hebrews to demonstrate true faith in God (Hebrews 11:31).
Even more shocking than all that, is this fact: she is listed in the Genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). Why is this significant? The first thing is that there are only five women named in His genealogy, so she played a major role in the coming of the Savior. It’s clear that God used her, someone thought of as “less than,” and He sovereignly planned for Rahab to be connected to the Savior of the world. Second, the book of Matthew was written to Jews, so to include Rahab, a prostitute, Gentile, and woman, it would be a shock to its readers. Matthew is making a big statement here to anyone that believes they are better than others.
This leads us to a biblical truth: God shows no favoritism; God judges and saves whom He pleases.
There Are No Favorites
God does not judge people based on if they are seen as “less than” or “better than.” God cares about our hearts. God cares about what we place our trust in. God cares about how we live our lives.
He shows no favoritism.
In Romans 2, Paul, the author, starts off by saying it’s not wise to judge others. He says pretty simply that we are not judges over people, only God is Judge over the world. And, God judges us all by the same standard.
‘He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For there is no favoritism with God.‘
Romans 2:6-11 (emphasis added)
God judges without prejudice. He shows no favoritism. He judges all who reject Him, including the ”greater than” in the world.
That’s the bad news. Praise God that He gives us Good News.
In Acts 10, the Apostle Peter is summoned by Cornelious, a Jewish man and a Commander in the Roman army. Again, remember that Jews in the 1st century believed they were superior to Gentiles, and they struggled with the gospel being for all nations. So, Peter, a Jew himself, proclaims that Jesus is the Savior of all people, including the “less than.”
‘Peter began to speak: “Now I truly understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ — he is Lord of all. You know the events that took place throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the devil, because God was with him. We ourselves are witnesses of everything he did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, and yet they killed him by hanging him on a tree. God raised up this man on the third day and caused him to be seen, not by all the people, but by us whom God appointed as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be the judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that through his name everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins.”’
Acts 10:34-43 (emphasis added)
God forgives without prejudice. He shows no favoritism. He saves all who believe in Him, including the “less than.”
There is no A-Team and B-Team in God’s eyes. There is no one that is “less than” or “greater than” in God’s eyes. God judges with no favoritism and saves with no favoritism.
The world, others, and your circumstances might tell you that you are “less than,” but God shows us that He saves and uses the “less than” in His master plan. He is the One who tells us the truth: There is no “less than” or “greater than” in God’s eyes; He is a fair Judge and an amazing Savior.