He had to go to Samaria...

September 10, 2020

LAYERS IN THE BIBLE

I love the Bible. When I first met Jesus at the age of 21, the Bible came alive. It was my most prized possession and still is. There are so many things I love about it. One of which is that it is consistently challenging the way I think and even my theology. I think I have a firm understanding on a passage of scripture, but then it will take on a whole new meaning. It’s kind of like an onion with layers- you study throughout your life and aroma of the Word of God gets stronger and stronger and will often leave you in tears in the best way possible.

John chapter four is a familiar passage of scripture, but one that is layered in truth and impact. It’s the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I would highly encourage you to read the story for the first time or read it again in John 4:1-42.

A few key thoughts I find in this passage include:

  • Jesus has to go to Samaria.
  • The woman is shocked Jesus is talking to a Samaritan and the disciples are shocked He is talking to a woman. Jesus broke all cultural norms would have nothing to do with the racial divisions.
  • Jesus engages her in a deep theological conversation.
  • He offers her living water which is speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  • This Samaritan woman becomes an evangelist.
  • After this encounter, Jesus tells his disciples-“Look I tell you lift up your eyes, and see the fields are ripe with harvest.”

As Christ followers we are committed to the great commission of sharing in the gospel truth and love of Christ with others, but this passage challenges me to examine my own heart. Am I as compelled as Jesus was to go to the Samaria’s of our day? Are there any like this Samaritan woman that I have excluded by my biases or cultural beliefs?

MAKING ROOM IN MY LIFE

Do I really believe Galatians 3:28?

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Does my mind first go to judgement before grace? Jesus said, “She’s had five husbands and now the guy she is living with isn’t her husband.” Why does he say that? I don’t believe he is condemning her, but rather empathizing with her predicament. As a woman, she had no legal right to divorce. The husbands most likely left her and the man she’s living with most likely wouldn’t marry her or the religious leaders didn’t allow it.

I do not believe Jesus was pointing out her sin, but was seeing her, stepping into and acknowledging her hurt and struggles.

This story challenges me particularly in the political and racial climate we find ourselves in today. I pray I am able to be like Jesus; taking the love of Jesus to the Samaria’s of our day and offering them living water that will quench their thirst for all of eternity.

In verse 40, the Samaritans asked Jesus to stay with them. He accepted the invitation, changed his plans and stayed with them for two days. Is there room in my life for a change of plans, a camp out with the Samaritans?

As the church, let’s carry the ministry of reconciliation and bring the love of Christ to the Samaria’s of our time. They need it and we need it. Mixing and engaging with people who are not like us is good for our souls and good for our faith. I would encourage all of us to take a close look at your circle of family and friends and see if maybe God would have us begin to foster relationships with those of a different race, different political views or beliefs and see what God does. I believe our lives would be enriched and this will help us to share in the love of Christ and unity of the Holy Spirit.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What passage of scripture has recently challenged you?
  2. Do our lives consist of people who are not like us?
  3. Would you pray that God would enlarge our social circles in order to share in the love of Christ with others?

About The Author

Krista Harvey

Krista Harvey joined the staff in May of 2019 as Cornerstone’s first Women’s Minister. She is a passionate follower of Jesus and loves to teach and minister the Word of God. Krista’s desire is that every woman would understand her value and walk in the fullness of Christ in every aspect of her life. Krista teaches and oversees all of Women’s Ministry at Cornerstone. Krista holds a BA from Vanguard University and is in pursuit of a MA in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. She has been involved with global missions around the world in India, Philippines, Uganda, and Ethiopia.