Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reaching People Where They Are 1/30/2013 (rp)

"He said to her, 'Go, call your husband and come here.' The woman answered and said, 'I have no husband.' Jesus said to her, 'You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.'” John 4:16-18

It is important to understand the context of this passage. Jesus had arrived in a place called Samaria. As a Jew, this was not a place most would find themselves. The problem was that the occupants of the area were once Jews themselves. The Jewish point of view was that while much of Israel was taken captive by the Babylonians in 721 BC, those who remained in the homeland mixed with the Assyrians making them in the minds of many, unclean half-breeds.

Further, it was very much outside the norm if not considered downright wrong for a Jew of Jesus' rabbinical stature to interact one on one with any female, let alone a Samaritan. At Jesus' request that the woman give him a drink, even the woman asked in verse 9, "How is it that you being a Jew, asks drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans)." So what was Jesus doing? What was he thinking?

Beloved, Jesus was thinking as we all should think. Far too many times, we miss the opportunity to share the gospel because of biases and prejudices. Somewhere within us, we just do not want to deal with "those" people, whoever they may be. Do not make the mistake of thinking this is just about race, ethnicity, color, etc. It also includes sexual preference, religious proclivity or socioeconomic standing, drug use, cohabitation, alcoholism, etc. The list is vast.

Jesus was willing to defy convention and go to a person who had needs. Not only were the circumstances not an issue, they may very well have been the reason for him doing what he did. He once said, "They that are whole have no need of a physician but they that are sick," Matt 9:12. In short, the Lord was willing to meet the Samaritan woman right where she was in the circumstances she was in and ministered to here there.

The epilogue is that she went and told her village who, based on what she told them, came to see and hear Jesus for themselves. After a time with Jesus, they told the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said: for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world," John 4:42.

Do you remember when Jesus met you where you were? Thank God for new life.



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