Your Samaria - The People You Don’t Like
John 4:4 And He (Jesus) HAD to pass through Samaria. (ESV)
Jesus left Judea to avoid trouble with the religious leaders:
MAP of Judea, Samaria, Galilee
Instead of going the normal route that Jews take around Samaria by crossing the Jordan River, traveling north, and then crossing the Jordan back into Galilee
He went straight north into Samaria
It was a direct and shorter route, but Jews did not go that way because they hated Samaritans
This trip resulted in one of the special evangelistic encounters in the Bible:
The trip to Samaria was God’s plan - Jesus HAD TO minister to a hurting woman at the well
We could say - He was compelled to go to Samaria.
Why? Because He had a divine appointment with a hurting woman
God can direct us or even compel us to go places and talk to people that we previously avoided.
STORY: A freshman was at a college in Ohio
This young man was very discouraged because he injured his knee playing college football a few months earlier
His dream of playing professional football was crushed
He had no idea what His purpose in life would be without football
But on a Monday in February of 1979, God sent two-time Heisman Trophy winner and professional football player Archie Griffin to his college to share the good news of Jesus
After hearing Archie’s testimony that night, he transferred all of his trust onto Jesus’ and the sacrifice He made for the forgiveness of our sins
His life has never been the same
WHAT IS UNUSUAL about this?
There were both social and religious barriers at this school and Archie by God’s grace crossed over them - as Jesus did
Archie presented the message of eternal life
THE MAN WHO WAS SAVED SAID THIS: I exalt Him (Jesus) for crossing over man-made barriers to save undeserving sinners like me
John 4:7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
John 4:8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
The reason “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” was because of their history:
When Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom 700 years before Christ, many of the Jews were exported, and many foreigners were imported
The Jews who stayed and the Gentiles who came intermarried
The offspring were called Samaritans. (They were a mixed race)
Most Jews hated them and would have nothing to do with them
Also, Jewish leaders did not converse with women in public, and they most certainly did not talk with Samaritan women
If a Jew called someone a Samaritan, it was considered a grave insult
Jesus not only spoke to a woman, but he also requested that she do Him the favour of drawing water and giving Him a drink
Because the Jews believed that they would be ceremonially unclean if they used a vessel handled by a Samaritan, the woman expressed surprise that He would ask her for a drink
One: Identify Your Samaria
Who represents your Samaria?
One way to find out is we can ask ourself, “Who do I dislike the most?
Who do I try to avoid the most?”
NOTE: we may error by thinking the people who are the nicest to us - are the people the most ready to hear the gospel - That wasn’t the case with this Samaritan lady
What about - the person whose values and lifestyle are the opposite of our own?
The person who has so many problems?
NOTE: We can ask the Lord to show us who represents our Samaria
I have listened to one too many politician attack wealthy people:
Because I read the Bible - and believe and do the Bible - I take my cues from Jesus
Look at how He ministered to a wealthy man
Mark 10:21 Then Jesus, looking at him, LOVED HIM, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (NKJV)
It is quite difficult to influence or minister to anyone unless we love them as they are
SUMMARY: the people that rub us the wrong way - (I mean worst than anyone else) - they would be our Samaria
Two: Crossover into Samaria
We can choose to let go of all prejudices and surrender to His will
Are we willing to do whatever it takes to reach people that no one else wants to reach?
Jesus was willing to cross over the barriers of prejudices to love on this lady
He was ready to give her living water the moment she believed in Him
Jesus KNEW HIS MISSION
He understood the mission at hand - knowing God’s plans and purposes were “God so LOVED THE WORLD” - Jesus Christ is for the WORLD
He was more than happy to love on this lady
Jesus Didn’t Allow His Jewish Blood to Sabotage His Mission