They stared at me, glared and watched me. I didn’t belong.
I was taller than most, had different skin, and my language was different. The Chinese stared and glared.
I was taller than most, had very different skin, and my language was different. The Haitians stared and glared.
But in Houston, where I belong, nobody stares, glares, or notices me. Its home.
In Galilee and Judea, Jesus wasn’t noticed either. But when he went to Shechem, he stood out like a sore thumb. He…
- looked different.
- sounded different.
- had different customs.
- was a foreigner.
Shechem was the epi-center of everything important to its residents.
- It’s where Abraham received God’s covenant.
- Jacob owned land in Shechem.
- Joshua led the Israelites to Shechem.
- It had Mt. Gerizim, the mountain of worship.
The problem was that Shechem was in Samaria and the Samaritans hated the Jews. The Jews were racist, despised the Samaritans and considered them less than dogs. Twice the Samaritans built a temple on Mt. Gerizim and twice the Jews tore them down.
But Jesus had to go to Samaria. Not by lack of roads, but because he had spiritual business. He offered salvation to a Samaritan woman, who told her community about him, and then he offered salvation to them too.
The woman wasn’t rich, powerful, or respected. She wasn’t morally acceptable. But Jesus offered her living water, the Holy Spirit, not because she deserved it, but because she didn’t. She was a broken, fallen person and a perfect representative of a broken and fallen people, the Samaritans.
The Amazing Messiah
He didn’t argue their differences, didn’t debate who was right, or attempt to change her perspective. He just offered a new perspective, that he was Yahweh’s anointed and that he came to offer the Father’s love and the Father’s gift, the Spirit.
Shechem was Samaria’s spiritual center and Mt. Gerizim was their sacred place to worship. She had reason to worship there, and reason to be proud of it.
But in the Messiah’s kingdom, worshipping God wouldn’t be about geography, skin color, or historical significance. Nor would it be a religion for the morally superior. Jesus came and waited by the well for her.
His Kingdom calls forgiven sinners to worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.