Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 12, 1959

Prejudiced Mind

Robert L. McDonald, Lufkin, Texas

Jesus might truly be referred to as the "master teacher." He taught in public as well as in private places. His language was simple and easy for all to understand. Many times he illustrated his lessons in parables.

One reason for his teaching in parables was to overcome the prejudiced minds of the Jews. "Andl the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto them in parables ? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." (Matt. 13:10-11.) The Lord continues, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted and I should heal them." (Matt. 13:13-15.)

Webster defines the term, Prejudice: "To prepossess with opinions formed without due knowledge or examination; to bias the mind of." One taught by his parents without due knowledge or examination might be the reason for a prejudiced mind. Traditional practice by some religious group might be the reason for a biased mind. Both, additional and parental teaching, "without due knowledge and examination," biased the minds of the Jews. To overcome this, Jesus taught in parables.


Naaman, a captain in Syria, had the dreaded disease of leprosy. A young maiden of Israel told of the prophet in Israel who "would recover him of his leprosy." (I Kings 5:3.) "So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." (I Kings 5:9-10.) But, Naaman was like too many of the people of today, his mind was biased before he arrived at the house of the prophet. When Elisha instructed Naaman to do something foreign to his thinking, he became angry. "But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage." (verse 11, and 12.) However, one of his servants came and reasoned with him about the simple requirements given by the prophet "Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." (verse 14.) Had Naaman continued to harden his mind and accept not the commandment of God, he would have died a leper.

Too many people today have prejudiced minds in the field of religion. They gullibly receive the traditions of the people and the instructions of their parents without "due knowledge or examination." And when the truth of God's Word is presented, they close their eyes, stop their ears and harden their hearts Why ? Because the truth is not in harmony with their biased thinking.

Religious people have been taught that Christianity is a religion of "faith only" and that man is saved before and without water baptism. "Baptism," their teachers have said, "is nothing but an outward sign of an inward grace and is door into the church." But, when they read, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16), "Repent and be baptized . . . . for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), "... arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins . . . ." (Acts 22:16) or "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us . ." (I Peter 3:21), they, like Naaman, turn in a rage. Why? Because their minds have been prejudiced to the truth. Opinions have been formed "without due knowledge or examination."

Others have been led to believe the Lord's church is not important and has no place in God's eternal plan of redemption. Sectarian preachers have said that "one church is as good as another" in their efforts to try to justify denominationalism. Because they have heard and accepted error "without due knowledge or examination," their thinking is biased. The truth of the New Testament is presented, ". . . . upon this rock I will build my church .. . ." (Matt. 16:18), "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47),

. . Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (Eph. 5:23) and, ".. . . Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (Eph. 5:25.) When the prejudiced minded hear the truth, he becomes as Naaman and turns away in a rage.

Value Of Truth

Truth is to be desired by the honest and sincere. The Lord said, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32.) When we are called upon to "give up" traditions and the doctrines of men in order to accept truth, this we should do. We may have to give up our families, friends or worldly possessions in order to live by the truth. "Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." (Prov. 23:23.) Like the merchantman, seeking goodly pearl: "Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he, and bought it." (Matt. 13:46.) So should we give up all in order to have and live by the truth which will make us free.

How miserable the man is who has a biased mind and not willing to receive the truth. On the other hand, how happy is the man who has his mind open to the truth and is willing to live by its principles. Those of Berea "were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11.) How noble, to be open minded to desire the truth and to search to see if the teachings are true. Jesus said, "But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear." (John 13:16.)