While studying John 4; I was struck by the way Jesus approached a Samaritan woman:
A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.) The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.) Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” John 4:7-10 (MSG)
Can you imagine if Jesus had gone up to her and said something like this: “Hey, you cheating, adulterous woman, what’s wrong with you? Don’t you know Who I am? You are nothing but a woman who is on her way to hell! Get away from Me, I can’t even look at you!”
Instead, the perfect Son of God, the One Who made everything including human beings, spoke to her with love and respect and compassion. He knew everything about her. And loved her anyways! He engaged her in conversation and spoke to her from His heart. He was not embarrassed to be seen with her and came alongside her right where she was.
How many Jesus followers do the same? How many of us come alongside our neighbor and love them right where they are? Or are we worried about our reputations and what others will think? Deep down, do we think we are better than our neighbor and condemn them with self righteous judgment?
O God, I’m amazed at how Your Son loved You and His neighbor while here on earth. He spent much of his time out in the community loving people right where they were; rather than in the synagogue (church) with people who thought they were better than others and didn’t acknowledge their own brokenness. He was all about His Father’s business and didn’t care what others thought or said of his actions. May those of us who say we love You have the courage to do the same. Amen.
Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship--is our worship spiritual and real? Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have His help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us...” John 4:21-23 (Living Bible)