Devotional Scripture: John 4:1-38
"The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" - John 4:9
We are all guitly at times of making so many varied judgements about people based on gender, age, race and religion. In truth, most of our judgements are based on assumptions. You've no doubt heard phrases like . . .
-"But the Baptist would never do that . . . "
-"The Methodists don't condone that . . . "
-"We believe this but the Catholics don't . . . "
-"Jews would never allow that to happen . . . "
Seldom, if ever, are these statements backed by fact.
Over the course of my life, and on many occassions in my ministry, I've heard the phrase, "God wouldn't do that!" or "Jesus wouldn't like that!"
I've been guilty of thinking the same thing sometimes . . . guilty of saying it as well.
The problem is . . . when we think or say anything about what God thinks or likes, we often are speaking out of our own interpretation, as well as speaking out of our hope that God sees things like we want Him to . . . sees things like we want to. It would sure make us feel better if He did!
Yes, that is a problem . . . because it reveals that we want God to do what we want . . . and in my experience, what God wants of me is not often what I want. That's the continuing conflict involved in God giving us free will.
The Samaritan woman clearly understands that Jesus is a Jew. Jews and Samaritans did not get along. The avoided each other . . . wouldn't look at each other . . . yelled, spit at, cursed each other . . . wouldn't do business together (which makes the story of the Good Samaritan that more poignant).
The Samaritan woman at the well is saying to Jesus, "You are a Jew . . . you can't talk to me because you are not supposed to talk to me."
In this story, Jesus breaks a stereotype. There are people all around us that need God's love. And yet, we don't share it because "we are not supposed to associate with certain types of people." One of reason many good Christans church goer's don't help the poor . . . is because they think "poor" is a disease they can catch, that will infect them and their families.
That is . . . until they do help the poor and troubled, and find God in the process. All because they risked breaking a "stereotype".
It's the 5 day of the Lent. As you keep sweeping and and pushing aside the clutter in your life that would serve as an obstacle preventing a holy Easter from coming into your life . . . consider breaking a few stereotypes as well.
God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>