The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
How Jesus Loved People:
Jesus didn’t care, and He still doesn’t. Women were not well regarded in the culture Jesus lived in. Neither were Samaritans. And here we see Jesus engaging a person who was both. But Jesus doesn’t care about that. Though the people around him had a low regard for women, and an outright hatred of Samaritans, Jesus didn’t care. Without regard for her gender, or her religion, or her heritage, Jesus engaged the Samaritan woman at the well. He did so to share grace, and truth, and to offer the words of eternal life.
How to Love Like Jesus:
You know, when I was a little kid, growing up in Chicago, my dad used to take me over to his friend Waverly Carter’s house. While they visited I used to play with his kids. I had a blast. Not until I was an adult did it ever occur to me I was playing with kids who were African-American. (see Matthew 18:3)
Cultural boundaries evaporated before Jesus’ love. And they should for me and you as well. The guy who belongs to the other political party, or the awkward loner at work, or the obese neighbor nobody talks to, or the obnoxious teenager, or the atheist, or the person whose lifestyle you disagree with, it doesn’t matter what category you perceive them to belong to: love them. Love them, because Jesus loves them. In fact He loves that person every bit as much as He loves you. He loves that person so much, He died for that person.
And just as Jesus died, you and I are to die, to our own judgments and criticisms. It’s not our job to judge. Judging is God’s job. It’s our job to love. You and I are the body of Christ. We’re His arms, and His hands — and His mouth (Lord, help me). You and I are to be used by God to love people, without regard for whatever perceptions we may have concerning social boundaries.
So love with eyes that are blind to perceived boundaries.
Even as Jesus died, die for the person who’s different than you are.
Die to your own inclinations to judge or criticize.
Love like a child loves, without regard for differences.
And He still does.
(For more on this topic see: SEEK AND SAVE by Bethany English and I Wish Every Church Said What This Church Says by Jon Acuff)
Wow, thanks for such an inspiring article!
Thanks for stopping by Yvett!
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Some time ago my husband and I went to a small local congregation where their guest speaker, Rabbi Cohen, spoke on the topic of “Who is Your Neighbor?” He obviously went over the story about the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, which was told by Messiah Himself.
A man had been plundered and left for half-dead on the road. A certain priest saw him and passed on to the opposite side of the roadway. Likewise the same occurred with a Levite who saw the poor man and passed to the other side of the road. BUT a certain “Samaritan” came upon the man and was filled with pity. He poured out oil (sometimes referred to the Holy Spirit) and wine (referred to the blood of Messiah) upon the mans wounds. He could have stopped there, but he went “all in” and put him on his “ride” and took him to an inn and cared for him. That would have been exemplary behavior in and of itself, but it was not enough for this man. Since he had to continue on with his travels, he left money with the innkeeper to take care of him, AND to put any further expense for his care on his “tab”.
Rabbi Cohen gave many examples from the Bible that night, and we reached the bottom line to the question, “who is my/your neighbor?” There is only one answer: Everyone!
In Luke 10:36, Jesus asks the lawyer: “Who then, of these three seems to you to have become a neighbor to the one having fallen among the plunderers?”
Luke 10:37 And the lawyer responded, “The one doing the deed of mercy with him”. Then Jesus said to him, “Go, and you do likewise”.
Galatians 6:2 says: Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Messiah.
A burden shared is a burden halved. Wouldn’t you say that this division sums it up?
“‘who is my/your neighbor?’ There is only one answer: Everyone!”
Yes, this sums it up Irene! Thanks for another great comment. Well said.
I really thought it was powerful Kurt when you shared your story about playing with your dad’s friend’s kids. Its funny that as kids we’re not aware of these things and that as we get older, we get exposed to prejudices and all the junk that’s in the world. Can’t wait until heaven!
The older I get, the more appealing heaven becomes.
Hey! Great blog! Congrats! I am nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Go to http://donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/my-second-very-inspiring-blogging-award/ for more info on receiving this award. God bless!
Kurt, I recently prayed that God would carry for me some painful emotional burdens that I can no longer endure. Reading your post helped me remember that as God lifts burdens from me, I have renewed ability to lift the burdens of those He brings into my life that don’t even have the hope you and I possess. Thank you for a timely reminder that my tendency to reject others who do not fit my mold is the opposite of what a merciful savior did for me, and that one of the best ways to bear an easier yoke is to show love to those who carry an even heavier weight than I do. I will pray that God shows me who I can help in his Son’s name and that I will have the will to follow His will.
Thanks for stopping by Paul. I can relate to your emotional burdens. I’ve had a few myself. I finally gave up and gave myself to God, as completely as I could. I’m talking about the kind of giving myself to God where I had my nose in the tear stained carpet in the sanctuary on a quiet Sunday night. That seemed to begin a process of healing. You’re in my prayers today. You know how to contact me if there’s anything I can do. Anything at all. I mean it.
“He did so to share grace, and truth, and to offer the words of eternal life.” Jesus by no means was judging even when He pointed out that the woman had not a husband and even the man she was with was not her husband. Did He not show her grace, by instructing her about her wayward ways, then given her the answer to how to be made free? So when we love like Jesus, should we not mirror this same approach? I’m wondering.
You are right on Trave’! But you’re getting ahead of me. We’re going to address those very topics, the grace and truth Jesus showed the woman at the well, in the next blog post on “How to Love Like Jesus.”
Lol! My fault! It just bothers me how the devil has deceived so many to the point where he has us to believe that holding someone accountable is judging them. I will be looking forward to your next blog.