For several weeks I’ve been thinking about Jesus’ encounter with the woman from Samaria.
Something which would have made it particularly noteworthy in the 1st century would have been the history of bad blood between the Jews and Samaritans.
After the exile, the Samaritan’s didn’t support the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem; in the 2nd century B.C. they supported the Syrians in their war against the Jews; and they had their own version of the five books of Moses and discarded the rest of the Old Testament. Plus, they set up a kind of rival shine on Mount Gerizim.
Despite this history, Jesus went out of his way to visit them: “he had to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). That too is noteworthy. Some Jews were known to travel AROUND Samaria to avoid the risk of possible contamination. But Jesus went right through, spoke with (and taught) this woman at the well, and then stayed with the townspeople for two days.
From this we learn not only of Jesus’ dedication to sharing eternal life with others, but the value of ALL people—even those who are hated or not ‘like us.’ Why? Because they are made in the image of God himself.
Do you vilify someone? What about an entire group of people? I’m sure you don’t. You seem really nice. But what about sometimes? Quietly? In your secret thoughts?
Love and hate both take effort; which is a better use of your time and energy?
—Sermon. “Saved from what? (And FOR what?) March 27, 2022. Click here.
—Podcast interview. “5 words of wisdom from past generations – a talk with Claude Cox.” They call it the information age. But to me, it often feels like we have too much data and too little wisdom. This episode is a talk with Claude Cox who has spent years with the elderly. Here, he shares some wisdom that has been passed on. Click here, or tune in to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or TuneIn.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.