Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the faithfulness of a prostitute

Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews contains an extraordinary list of the faithful people of God.  They lived by faith, died by faith, and were examples of Hebrews' own definition of faith: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).

This cast of faithful characters includes some mighty heroes of the Old Testament: Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses.  It mentions some of the lesser characters: Abel, Enoch, and the people at the Red Sea and at the walls of Jericho.  Then the author briefly notes some of the other faithful figures of the past: Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.

But among all these great heroes of the faith, there is one person that seems a little out there: Rahab the prostitute.

That's right, a prostitute made it into Hebrews' "Faith Hall of Fame." 

My point is this: the faithful people of God come from all walks of life, all occupations, positions, vocations.  Some are righteous, most are sinners, but above all, they are faithful.  The Church  is not made of perfect disciples of Jesus.  Rather, and more importantly, the Church is made of people like you and me and Rahab who get a lot of things wrong, get just a few things right, but live by faith in Christ.

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