Monday, March 9
In this passage, Jesus shines his light on tribal and judgmental divisions, our tendency to write off people who are different from us or who do not meet the mores of our society. As the Samaritan woman pointed out, Jesus, in speaking to her, disregarded the divisions between Jews and Samaritans. Not only was she of another tribe, she was also a woman, and one of dubious morals at that.
Accordingly, there were several reasons why a good Jewish man would not speak to her, let alone carry on an extended theological discussion with her. But Jesus chose to do so. In John’s account, the Samaritan woman comes across as intelligent and knowledgeable about the religious differences between their tribes. And it was when she mentioned the Messiah that Jesus announced to her that he was the Messiah.
The Samaritan woman took this message to the village, urging her neighbors to come back with her to talk to Jesus. They did, and many Samaritans were converted. John 4:28-30,
39-42. Jesus wisely chose the Samaritan woman, an outsider, to carry the good news of his coming to the Samaritans. And all of this happened because Jesus ignored social and psychological walls that divided people then and that continue to divide us.
Prayer: Father, help us to overcome the distinctions that divide us, and to recognize that we, and more importantly, “They,” are all your children and equal in your eyes. Amen.
– Sara Ann Ketchum