During ancient times… walls made the city. No walls! No city! Life without walls back then was no life, no protection! WALLS however did not always have to be made of stone and mortar. Even now, walls are erected between people. Invisible walls, but very real! Walls keep people apart. Walls keep prejudice and hate alive. Walls have to be examined, one by one. Some need torn down… Some are useful… This is a study of one WALL between the Jews and Samaritans.
Palestine – a country 120 miles North to South. There were three divisions: North Galilee, South Judea and in between Samaria. There was a centuries old feud between the Jews and the Samaritans (mixed breed). It was three days journey from Judea to Galilee through Samaria. It was six days to Galilee crossing the Jordan when by-passing Samaria and then re-crossing the Jordan. At Sychar, the road forks, and we find (still there) Jacob’s well. Read the story of Jacob’s well in Genesis 33:18-20. Jacob gave it to Joseph. Joseph, at his death, was taken and buried in Palestine (Joshua 24:32), and along with this historic well, there are still many Jewish memories. The well is more than 100 feet deep. It is not a spring, but it bubbles, ‘percolates’ (according to dad’s visit there and gathering information). Jesus is sitting – resting on the well. It is about the 6th hour of the day (NOON TIME). The disciples… they had gone to get food.
Then comes the Samaritan woman. She is from Sychar which is about a mile and a half away. Quite a journey to get water! She may have been an outcast or not. She had been married five times and was living with a man now. Perhaps she gave up on marriage.
1.) “Give me a drink” Jesus asked. She was shocked that he even spoke to her. he was a Jew, and the expected ‘I’m better than you’ attitude was expected… but not received.
Jesus then engages her in conversation about ‘living water’. She is puzzled. Of course she wants this water, but doesn’t understand it. “Give me some of this water!”
2.) Few stories reveal love, kindness, acceptance, like this one does between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Few stories reveal the humanity of Jesus like this one. Do you get thirsty? Jesus was thirsty! Do you get tired and need to sit? Jesus got tired and needed to sit! His warmth and love are so obvious here. He still loves… YOU!
3.) The walls people build for one reason or another… Jesus seems to ignore! NO WALLS! NO BARRIERS! NOTHING BETWEEN JESUS AND YOU… which he cannot overcome. (Ephesians 1:10; 3:1-6; Revelation 5:9,12).
Samaritans were the half breeds (II Kings 17:6; 17:24). They were the result of inter marriage. They had lost their racial purity. It was as if these people were dead! The Northern Kingdom had been carried off into captivity. They never came back.
II. BEGINNING OF THE “WHOSOEVER WILL”
“God, so loving the world.” “Standing at the door… still knocking” Where “walls” exist communication stops. Jesus came to tear down walls… to communicate good news. “Whosoever will” means just that, “WHO SO EVER.” Are you a racist? Are you a bigot? Are you afraid when too many of a different color of skin become members of your congregation?! Do you get upset when Christians of a different culture become your church leaders? Shame on you! Period! Go to your Father in Heaven and explain this.
Amazing grace is not just for you… it is for everyone!
Matthew 11:28-30 “Jesus says COME!” “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you (all) rest.29 Take my yoke upon you (all) and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you (all) will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Amen walls!!!
Matthew 9:20-22 Jesus wants your “Touch”! “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Don’t get in the way of someone ‘touching Jesus’!
Galatians 4:4-7 God is your “Abba”! ” But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” This adoption is for WHOSOEVER WILL!!!
Galatians 3:26-29 “You are all sons of God..”So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
NO MORE WALLS! Years ago, I was with mom and dad when we went to hear Marshall Keeble. These were the days of segregation, and “eeny, meeny, miny, moe…” These were days of hate and prejudice. But not with mom and dad… We went and loved the worship, the clapping, singing, praising… and the preaching… Brother Keeble once said to a ‘racist brother'(?) who said, “We don’t have to teach black people.” His response was, “Brother we may not be a ‘nation’ but we are all God’s “creatures”, and Jesus says, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)(KJV).
The world is drowning in prejudice, racism, hate and bigotry… but LET THIS NOT ONCE BE NAMED AMONG THE PEOPLE OF GOD!
The feast is spread… The invitation is for EVERY MAN WOMAN AND CHILD THAT CAN UNDERSTAND HOW LOST THEY ARE WITHOUT JESUS AND TURN TO HIM AND BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, (John 3:3-5; Acts 2:37-39).
Grow in grace!