For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost
Luke 19:10

This morning in our study of John’s Gospel, we come to the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, often called “the woman at the well.” One thing we see as we look at this story is how the encounter between Jesus and this woman is surprising in every detail! There is no reason they should have even met, let alone had the conversation John records for us John 4. Everything about her stands in stark contrast to him. She was a Samaritan. He was a Jew. And as John tells us in John 4:9, “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” She was a woman in a culture where women were expected to be seen and not heard and where the Rabbis actually debated whether or not women were capable of learning anything. He was a man and a Rabbi. Most Rabbis would have considered it scandalous to be seen talking to any woman in public, let alone a Samaritan woman with the kind of reputation she had! In short, there was no reason she and Jesus should had any conversation. And yet Jesus, moved by a love that came to seek and save the lost, sought out this woman even though she was as far removed from him culturally, politically and morally as she could possibly be. And through his gentle grace, she became a vibrant believer.

As I was studying this event in the life of Jesus this week, it occurred to me how relevant it is for us today. We live in a nation divided in every way, where it’s common to dismiss people across the cultural divide as enemy combatants in the cultural war and political opponents to be despised. And it’s only going to get worse as we head toward November. There’s a lot of hate out there! So how should we as Christians living in this divided culture treat those on the other side of the cultural divide? How can we love others in this world of conflict where hate seems so natural? That’s what Jesus will show us as we watch him gently lead this woman of Samaria out of her darkness into His marvelous light!

Oh, how I want to be more like Jesus!

Pastor S. Scott Lee