The Church Has Always Been Multiethnic

Apr 12, 2021 by

Jesus’s public ministry was mostly focused on his fellow Jews. But time and again, he commends the faith of those outside the Jewish fold. He praises the faith of a Roman centurion (Matt. 8:5–13) and a Syrophoenician woman (Matt. 15:21–28). When he heals 10 lepers, the only one who turns back to thank him is a Samaritan, whose faith Jesus commends (Luke 17:11–19). And after his resurrection, Jesus declares, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” and tells his followers, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18–19).

Jesus was the one through whom all things were made (John 1:3). He created every ethnicity, and he calls people from every tribe and tongue and nation to himself. Centuries of colonialism have left many people thinking that the first black Christians emerged when European missionaries traveled to Africa. But if we read the Bible, we find the first black people coming to Christ on Day One of the church.

First Black Christians

When the Spirit is poured out at Pentecost, the apostles preach to people “from every nation under heaven,” including those from modern-day Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, and Libya (Acts 2:5–11). Three thousand came to Christ. This is the birthday of the church. On this day, Middle Easterners, Africans, and Europeans started worshiping Jesus together. Luke tells us what this looked like.

Read here

See also: Ethnic and social diversity in the early church by Ian Paul, Psephizo

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