OPEN IN PRAYER
(Read When Prompted)
- John 4:3-23, 27-29, 35
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!
- Racism has permeated for thousands of years and Jesus had a strategy to building a bridge, which we need to follow. Read John 4:3-9. Strategy #1 Jesus came to her. The Jews and the Samaritans were enemies. When the Jews traveled they would go around Samaria but Jesus wanted to go through Samaria. Strategy #2 Jesus got rid of the crowd. Jesus had a group of religious men with him that he couldn’t be successful in his mission with them around. There was no pecking order to Jesus and he saw everyone equally. All throughout Jesus’ ministry he would go to the disenfranchised and left the 99 for the 1. Jesus went out of his Jewishness to a woman that the Jews looked down on. Is there a side of town that you don’t drive through? Is there a group of people that you are afraid to talk to?
- Read John 4:10-23. Strategy #3 Jesus met on common ground. Jews and Samaritans both loved Jacob; they shared a likeness. It doesn’t matter where you are from; there is always a common ground to explore with those you think you have nothing in common with. Everyone needs something from the well; focus on the things that take us to the bridge. Strategy #4 Jesus built a bridge of kindness. You can’t get to the problem by being mean and nasty. You can only get to the root through kindness. Where is the common ground that you can meet those you don’t usually talk to? How can you show more kindness to those you don’t relate to?
- Throughout this story, Jesus approaches the woman in kindness. Even when she tries to offend him, he responds in love. But the moment that she brings up “fathers” (verse 20) he can’t let that go. She was taught from her father to worship on the mountain but Jesus told her that she was taught wrong. Could it be that people you believed in and trusted taught you something that is not true? God didn’t need a mountain to be worshipped; he’s looking for those who worship in spirit and truth. Racism is also taught and learned, it is not in the blood. There are no racists in the baby ward. If you believe a lie, you live a lie. God doesn’t need his people to be dividers; he is looking for those who will unify the body. Were you ever taught something at a young age that you learned later in life was wrong?
- Read John 4:27-29, 35. The disciples came back and they were shocked. The bridge had been built and they couldn’t undo it. Jesus wanted them to see that the ministry wasn’t them, but the people they refused to interact with. When Jesus said, “open your eyes and look at the fields” he was referring to the Samaritans. They were the harvest! The people you don’t want to build a bridge with are the harvest! Get out of your world and feel what others are feeling. Feel it even if you have never experienced it. Use your empathy, resources and influence to help others. Stop operating in a world that only serves you. What group of people can you use your empathy, resources and influence to help? Pray and ask God to reveal to you if you have any unjust feelings towards a group of people and to heal your heart to start building bridges through kindness.