Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
By Lisa Nordell-Detres
One of the first things Jesus did when He began His ministry on earth was to break down the existing social, cultural and economic barriers of His time. When Jesus revealed His Divinity to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, He broke through several barriers:
• Racism: the Samaritans were descendants of the Jews who had married Babylonians and others during the Captivity. They were hated by the Jews and considered less than human. Racism was never a value taught by Jesus, but the church somehow missed that queue. We need to make sure to correct our wrong attitudes towards people different from ourselves so that we can do our part to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
• Sexism: By simply speaking with this woman, Jesus demonstrated the importance of women in His kingdom to a world that considered women to be chattel. As we continue reading through the New Testament, we will see how several women were counted as Jesus’ friends. There is a clear leadership hierarchy set up within the Church, but don’t ever think that teaching children or serving the aged members is any less important to the overall mission of the Gospel than preaching from the pulpit or being an elder. The most important characteristic of a follower of Christ is to be willing to serve Him in any way that brings Him glory and honor. Remember, it’s all about Jesus!
• Judgment/elitism: This Samaritan woman was an outcast even among her own outcast people because of her life choices. In verses 16-18, Jesus spoke truth into her life without condemnation. What resulted from this conversation is that many in a town of outcasts came to a saving knowledge of the Savior even before the religious elites. We need to see people in every walk of life as Jesus sees them: precious in His eyes, valuable creations who need to know the truth of His love and salvation. Telling them about the loving Savior and what He did for us is our job; judgment is reserved for God alone.
In just one conversation with one person, Jesus showed His church how we should treat those with whom we come into contact. Take some time to reflect on your own feelings towards other races, lifestyles and the other gender (including those who claim alternate genders) and then read John 4 and picture how He would interact with them in person. That is how Jesus wants us to treat others.
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother of four, grandma to three boys, a pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside. Lisa is a member of the Central Oregon Writers Guild.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, studied Christian Apologetics at Simon Greenleaf University, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.