“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” (2 Corinthians 5:16, KJV)
The recently released movie “Jesus Revolution” recounts the Jesus movement of the 60’s and 70’s. It began in California and swept across the nation. The movie pictures a preacher named Chuck Smith who pastored a small traditional congregation in California. He and his congregation had looked with distain on a prevalent subculture which was called at the time “hippies.” This was a group that loved rock music and concerts, indulged in drugs and sex. They dressed funny and the men let their hair grow out. They were considered by many as the outcasts of society.
The Jesus revolution started when Pastor Chuck’s daughter picked up a hippie and brought him home to see her dad. He had previously indicated that God needed to bring a hippie to him and this is what happened. The hippie his daughter brought home was named Lonnie Frisbee, a believer in Jesus who had a burden to see those in the hippie culture healed from their addictions and sinful practices. His point was that they were seeking something to solve their wounds and emptiness by indulging in the sinful practices of drugs and sex. He believed that only Christ could heal this group but the church (that is established religious churches) would not let this group in.
Pastor Chuck, after listening to Lonnie, had a change of heart towards this hippie subculture. He realized that the institutional church had kept this group out because they did not dress the same way, look the same, and worship the same way those in the institutional churches did. Pastor Chuck then invited this group into his fledgling church. Some of the members would not put up with this and left the church. Yet the revolution started and thousands of hippies came to faith in Jesus, being delivered from their drugs and sinful practices without losing their identity.
What happened to Pastor Chuck and those older folks who remained in his church? They stopped looking at outward appearances. Paul wrote that after experiencing the love of Christ, he would know “no man after the flesh.” He would not look at the outward man. On the contrary, Paul would look upon people as God sees them. He would look upon the heart with God’s purposes in mind. Thus, he became “all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22, KJV). Paul broke down the cultural barriers so that people from all aspects of life could experience God’s power of grace.
The question is this. What cultural barriers have we established in our hearts. Christ died for all so that all could experience His salvation. We were all once outcasts, but He let us in by His once for all sacrifice. Shall we not do the same? If He has taken down the walls that divide for us, why do we still leave them up?