A Lesson on Prejudice

“Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Please give Me a drink.’” (John 4:6-7 NLT)

Many, including Jesus’ Disciples, would have questioned Jesus’ judgment in traveling through Samaria. The hostility between Jews and Samaritans was well known. Yet, as the story unfolds, it becomes evident that Jesus planned this visit through Samaria because there was a specific person with whom He wanted to meet. Like in yesterday’s post, the “person was the purpose” of going that way.

It’s ironic that though Jesus was God in human flesh and had only three years to train eleven men to change the world with the Good News of His coming Kingdom, He was never in a hurry. Though He likely did as a child, there’s no evidence that Jesus ever ran as an adult. He walked circumspectly, in the sense that His life always had purpose. His mission was to “seek and to save the lost,” and He never missed an opportunity to go to the ones who needed Him most, yet likely would never have come to Him.

Jesus took a pause every day to seek His Father, from whom He would get His day’s assignment. On this day He didn’t pursue anyone, He just waited for her to come to Him. Why a well? Because it was the place the women of the village would come for water. Why noon? Because none of the other women would be there. Why not? Because all the “respectable” women came in the morning when it was cooler.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

This unnamed woman who had been married five times and was living with a man to whom she wasn’t married, came to the well just as Jesus knew she would. To open His conversation with her He had only one request: “Please give Me a drink.” No doubt startled, not only that a Jew would ask a Samaritan for anything, but a Jewish man speaking to a Samaritan woman was very unorthodox. I encourage you to read the discourse between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4 but let me make a few observations.

Their discussion touched on religious practices of the Jews and Samaritans, but then the woman revealed that she knew “the Messiah is coming, the One who is called Christ. When He comes He will explain everything to us.”  And, for the first time, Jesus makes His true identity known, thus launching His public ministry. He said to her: “I Am the Messiah!”

Can you begin to grasp the significance of what He’s doing? The disciples’ believed Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, but Jesus is declaring – I AM is the Messiah for ALL lost sheep, not just those who are Jewish. He was telling this woman and US, the same thing He had told Nicodemus earlier: “For God loved the world (not just the Jewish people) so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that EVERYONE who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

It would have been like a black Jesus going into an all white neighborhood in the South in the 60’s. Hearts were blocked, not to God, but to each other because of prejudicial things that blinded them, but through which Jesus could easily see.

Jesus also knew that this very lost, and very hopeless woman, once she understood who He was, would tell anybody and everybody she could. So much so, the Bible says: “So the people came streaming from the village to see Him.”

Who are you telling about your Messiah? Like the Disciples, we’re often very prejudiced, not simply because of race, but mostly because we don’t like anyone who is different from us. But Jesus loves EVERYONE!  That’s one of the many reasons I love my church so much. We have more than 50 language groups represented in our church. It’s literally like heaven every week when we worship together. When we come to Jesus, we’d better leave our pride and prejudice at the proverbial door, because there’s no room for hatred of any kind in the Kingdom of God.

Take a pause! Kneel in worship of Jesus, then rise to tell the world how loving, kind, good, and gracious He is. Perhaps He will use your testimony to draw others to Himself, as He used the testimony of the woman at the well.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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