Summary: A message encouraging us to reach out to the people outside our normal circles.
Samaritans Are People, Too!
April 28, 2002
Last Tuesday, I went to listen to Dana Scott, sister of Rachel Scott, who was one of the students killed at Columbine High School.
And one of the points of Miss Scott’s message was that we need to be more compassionate toward those who are not like us, such as the social rejects, or physically challenged.
Her sister had in the last couple of years become convinced that God wanted her to reach out to these some people. In the end, it was two of these people who took her life.
That message convicted me, and I asked God to show me what I could do in the same area, and how I could communicate that conviction to you today.
And He brought to mind the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4.
The story is familiar to most of us, but allow me to recap it just a bit. We are going to be reading portions of it, but I want to just give you a quick overview.
Jesus was on his way back to Galilee and felt like He should go through Samaria. When they got to a town called Sychar, the disciples went to find some food.
In the meantime, Jesus sits at Jacob’s well, and strikes up a conversation with a Samaritan woman.
Now in those times, this was not a good deal to most people.
First of all, she was a woman. The prevailing attitude of Jewish men was that it was almost better to be a dog than a woman. This was not Scriptural, but that was the attitude.
Next, and probably even more important, she was a Samaritan.
Samaritans were “half-breed” Jews who intermarried with the people of the region who were brought there by the king of Assyria during the exile of Israel.
Jews hated Samaritans and the feeling was mutual.
And not only was she a woman, not only was she a Samaritan, but she was also a sinner. Three strikes and you’re out, right?
Not with Jesus. And hopefully not with us.
Today I want to show us how we can reach out to those who are outside our normal circles, and I want to do that by showing the example of Jesus.
Please turn with me to John 4. If you are using one of the Bibles in the seats, this can be found on page 752.
I. Set aside your prejudices.
I would be so bold to say that most, if not all of us operate under certain prejudices, though some less than others.
Jesus was under no such restraint. He was a Jew, but that didn’t stop Him from ministering to many different people, including even a centurion from the hated Roman army.
Here we see Him talking with a Samaritan. Follow along as I read verses 4-10.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
I would urge you to remember three principles when it comes to shedding your prejudices.
A. Remember that it’s not the color of the skin, but the color of the blood.
It’s not your gender, but your image. We are made in the image of God, regardless of sex, age, or current lifestyle or religion.
Jesus shed His blood, and I can’t find anything in Scripture that says He shed it only for Americans or Israelites. The Bible says that God so loved the world. And last I checked that included all the continents and the people on them.
We all bleed red, and so did Jesus.
B. Remember the root issue – salvation.
This relates to the last point, but let me hammer it home here.
People of all races and lifestyles need Jesus. They are not exempt. The issue is not where they come from or how they dress (or how we dress, for that matter).
They might look good and smell good, and even go to church, but if they don’t have not trusted Christ as their Savior, then they’ll go to an eternity in hell.