My wife and I have recently been reading through the book of John and today we got to the part where Christ is talking with the woman from Samaria. During this time, His disciples get back from their trip into town. The verse that follows is extremely interesting. “Just then His disciples came back. They marveled that He was talking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you seek?" or, "Why are you talking with her?” (John 5:27)
The first interesting aspect to this is observing the disciples surprise to Christ talking to a woman. This is something in that culture that was not usually done. However, this is not just a normal woman, this is a Samaritan woman, which made this even more shocking. In their culture, the Samaritans were outcasts, rejects from society. The Jews despised the Samaritans and viewed them as apostate and heretical. The Jews did not have any dealings with them, nor did they worship in the same place, even though they worshiped the same God. Christ, being a Jew, would have grown up hearing about the Samaritans and how they as Jewish people should not have dealings with them. This gives even more teeth to the story of the Good Samaritan that Christ later tells the Jewish leaders, though that is a blog for another time. (I would like to focus on what we see here in John chapter 5.)
Notice in the account that none of the disciples say anything to Jesus. Notice that the verse says no one asked Him what He was doing or why He was doing it. They knew better. They knew they were dealing with someone who did not fall into the cultural “standards” that the Pharisees had laid out. They knew that Christ was on this earth for a different reason. Christ was doing something that was completely against the rules, and the disciples didn’t get it. The disciples still believed the lie that the Samaritans were too far gone to be worth Jesus’ time. Perhaps, they believed that they were morally superior to the Samaritans. Perhaps they thought of themselves as more worthy. We know from other passages that the disciples often thought this way. I believe that the fact that Jesus would stoop so low as to talk to this woman would have been beyond their understanding at this time.
This is the mindset of fallen men and women. Always comparing and sizing up others in light of ourselves. With that in mind, let’s focus now on the mind of Christ. Jesus knew all the social stigma that surrounded the Samaritans. He knew how the Jews felt about them. He knew the theological and political details that were ingrained into the two parties, and He knew how much they hated each other. He knew all this. But there was something else He knew. He knew this woman was thirsty for a water that she didn’t even know she needed. He knew she was searching and looking for contentment in relationships. He knew she had a thirst that came from something deeper than just physical craving. He knew she was lost and needed so desperately to be found. This was the mind of our Savior. So He sat, talked, confronted, gave her the solution to her thirst and in her joy, she ran and told everyone she knew about what had just happened to her. This is the joy that Christ brings to those who are lost.
So we see this wonderful account of Christ, stooping yet again to us sinful people and showing us His love and mercy. How do we imitate Christ in our lives? Are there people who you believe are too far gone for the Gospel? Just too sinful to believe in the good news of Christ? Are there some people that you think would just throw the Gospel back in your face and ridicule you for it? Perhaps this would happen and perhaps it would not. That is not up to us. What we should realize is that there is nothing more powerful than the Gospel of Christ. It is the power that literally changes hearts and minds and brings them from death to life. We must be like Jesus and not let anything stop us form giving the living water to those that are thirsty. We show we love Jesus by leading others to the same well that Christ led us to. Lead them to that well and tell them, “Drink.” It is my prayer that we find a renewed zeal to share the Gospel with all, especially those who we believe would reject us. Those are the people that may just surprise you. God loves saving wicked, sinful people. I mean hey, He saved you and me didn’t He? That’s what He does.