In John chapter 4, the story of the Samaritan woman tells how Jesus seeks us. That it is He who reaches out and looks for us. He breaks through the boundaries of the world, the boundaries that we’ve created, to try and reach us.
What are the boundaries that we have created? The boundaries that we know today..
The Racial boundary- Jesus was a Jew, the woman was a Samaritan, these two races just didn’t speak or mix.
The Social boundary- back then Jewish men weren’t allowed to speak to women in public, not to their wives or their sisters. They were only permitted to speak with their daughters.
The Cultural boundary- Jews and Samaritans had been at war and thus were mortal enemies. Jews never crossed into the borders of Samaria, they always went around it.
The Moral boundary- The woman had had several husbands and wasn’t actually considered an upstanding character.
Instead of going around Samaria and into Galilee, as was the accepted Jewish practice, Jesus walked into the Samarian city of Sychar and stopped at a well. There he met a Samaritan woman whom he asked for a drink. In being present at the well, speaking to her and asking for a drink, Jesus broke through all these boundaries- broke all these rules. She was aware of this and asked why. He told her,
“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water,”
Jesus was a radical. He didn’t care about the norms we established to create what we perceive as security. He doesn’t care about the boundaries and limitations we set upon ourselves, our sins, and continues to break through them and try to reach us. To help us realize our potential as children of God. He was, is, the only person truly without prejudice.
What he wants from us is to be true to ourselves and recognize we are sinners and need him to save us. And the Samaritan did this-
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.”
To say the least.
Many of us believe ourselves to be open minded and worldly, in this age of information it’s so easy to agree or disagree with ideas, opinions, world views. To hail and uphold this or condemn that, to point fingers and judge, this is right, this is wrong… “I’ll be friends with you because you believe as I do… to hell with you because you don’t…” This building of boundaries, limitations, it’s quite probably the most passively unchristian way to live our lives- even as we call ourselves Christian. It’s contrary to how Jesus lived his life, and the example that he tried to set. What unites us with Jesus is our seeking Him in return. We follow Him and this is what ultimately unites us all.
Jesus told his disciples, “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” The time was right then, as it is at present. To be generous and pursue this radical love.