Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10
We read in Scripture that we are called to adopt the attitude of Jesus and follow His example (Philippians 2). As we think about His attitude, humility, patient, kind, just, and many more things come to mind to describe His attitude. However, as we think about modeling our attitude after Jesus, one attitude that has no place in our lives and goes against everything Jesus taught is prejudice. Jesus loved everyone. He showed no partiality. He loved the people who were caught up in sin, those who were sick with contagious diseases and considered “unclean,” people of all ethnicities, and people of varying political views. He made it clear: there is no partiality in the Kingdom of God.
John chapter 4 shows us that there is no partiality with Jesus. In this chapter, Jesus was in a town called Samaria. Now, there is something you need to know about Samaria to understand this story fully. Samaria consisted of people who were not fully Jewish. Part of their heritage was foreign. Because of this, Jewish people saw Samaritans as unclean and impure. Therefore, they did not associate with Samaritans. Many times, Jewish people would do everything they could to avoid passing through Samaria as they traveled. Now, back to our story!
Knowing what we know about Samaria, imagine the shock everyone must have felt seeing Jesus sitting down at a well talking with a Samaritan woman. He looked at her and asked her for water. She responded, saying that she was surprised that Jesus was asking a Samaritan woman for a drink. Then, Jesus spoke words to her that must have changed her life. “If you only knew the gift God has for you and Who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water” (John 4:10). Naturally, she asked the question, “Where can I get this living water?” Jesus told her that anyone who drinks from His water would never thirst again. She responded in a way that all of us would say, “Give me this water!” (verse 15).
After asking for water, Jesus said something strange. “Go and get your husband” (verse 16). Notice her response: “I don’t have a husband” (verse 17). Jesus was bringing up an area of pain because He confirmed that what she said was true. She currently was not married but had previously had five husbands in the past (verse 18). We don’t know why she had been married five times. It could have been because of divorce or because they had died. Whatever the case, she had a complicated past full of shame and grief. As Jesus brought up her past, I imagine that He brought it up with compassion and sadness for everything she had gone through.
As they continued their conversation, Jesus revealed to her that He was Christ, the one who had come to save people from their sin. Suddenly, this woman left her water jar, telling everyone about her encounter with Jesus. Because she told people in her village about Jesus, many of them came to believe in Him.
Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well is an example for us. Like Jesus showed love to this woman whom many viewed as unclean and an outcast, we too are to love without prejudice and partiality. There is no one outside the bounds of Christ's love. Is there anyone or any group of people who you have been harboring prejudice toward? It’s time today to acknowledge it, let go of it, and view and treat everyone as human beings made in the image of God, who He loves.
Moving Toward Action
Let's pause and evaluate. Is there someone you have been treating differently because of where they are from or their different political views? Confess this to God today. Then, as you confess, ask Him to give you love and burden toward that person and all people regardless of where they come from or what their story is.
John 4:1-38 (NLT)
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
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