Get A New Attitude Towards People 1.14.18

Sunday's Message
January 14, 2018


In 1596 Shakespeare wrote A Merchant of Venice.  In it the Jew Shylock demands a pound of flesh from a Christian who has not been able to pay his debt.  At court Shylock is asked why he demands the pound of flesh since it will do him no good.  He replies that he wants it because of vengeance.  Then he launches into one of the greatest speeches in theater history.

Hath not a Jew eyes?  Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affection, passions?  Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian?  If you prick us do we not bleed and if you tickle us do we not laugh?  If you poison us do we not die and if you wrong us shall we not revenge?  The villainy you teach me I will execute. 

Shylock was explaining that the Christians were out for revenge, so why shouldn’t the Jews?     

We don’t know if Shakespeare’s audience laughed at this speech because they thought it ridiculous that a Jew would demand an equal place at the table with a Christian.  But it seems that Shakespeare was brilliantly explaining that prejudice breeds prejudice.  Hatred breeds hatred.  Therefore we must love and reach out to all people (see Acts 10:34; James 2:1).         

This Sunday I’m preaching on “Get a New Attitude towards People” from Matthew 8:5-13 wherein Jesus broke down ethnic barriers by commending the Roman captain of a hundred men for his faithful love and spoke of how the good news would reach to people throughout the planet.       

Do you every get tired of having a bad attitude towards other people?  This new year why don’t we get a new attitude of love for all?  It’s so liberating!  And it’s possible by being filled with the Spirit of the one who created all people in his image.

With love in Christ,
Dr. Jim Meek