Is God Impartial?

by Jerry Senn

“So Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.’” — Acts 10:34, 35

In the story of the conversion of a Gentile named Cornelius, Peter learned an important lesson about his problem with prejudice. Formerly, he had felt as most Jews that Gentiles were not worthy of God’s love, and certainly not be a part of their evangelistic efforts.

While Peter was visiting the home of Simon, in Joppa, he had a life changing vision in which God graphically demonstrated that he should not call anything he had created “unclean.” As he woke up from the vision, he was confronted with an opportunity, in the form of an invitation to visit a man seeking a relationship with God, a Gentile centurion. Accepting this challenge wasn’t easy for Peter (See Galatians 2:11-14). And, it isn’t easy for anyone of any age. We all tend to hold feelings which have become a part of who we are, maybe without our realizing why. And, it’s something we must also work hard to overcome.

Our Creator loves all his creation, whether man or beast. But, we humans have within us a spark of life placed there to identify us as his own. He values us so much that he wants to spend eternity in our presence. And, this is true for all, not for a segregated part of humanity.

It is said that Mahandas K. Gandhi, as the leader of the Indian nationalist movement, was esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolence to achieve political and social progress. Gandhi says in his autobiography that in his student days he was truly interested in the Bible. Deeply touched by reading the Gospels, he seriously considered becoming a convert, since Christianity seemed to offer the real solution to the caste system that was dividing the people of India. One Sunday, he went to a nearby church to attend services. He decided to see the minister and ask for instruction in the way of salvation and enlightenment on other doctrines. 

But when he entered the sanctuary, the ushers refused to give him a seat and suggested that he go and worship with his own people. Gandhi never came back. “If Christians have caste differences also,” he said to himself, “I might as well remain a Hindu.” (Michael P Green).

“The Lord is...not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach [come to] repentance.” 
—2 Peter 3:9
“God our Savior...desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
—1 Timothy 2:3b-4

Jesus saw the “real value” of all the people he saw each day. Let’s strive to view others God’s way, no matter how different from ourselves they may be.