The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (John 4:9)
Marvin McNair was a forty-seven-year-old African-American pastor in a rough, downtown Denver neighborhood. One evening he died suddenly of complications from an old injury. During his funeral, person after person got up to talk about the impact that Marvin had on them. All races were represented at that memorial service because Marvin ignored the barriers of prejudice in his culture. He understood that the gospel would never bow down to the distinctions of race, economic status, or gang affiliation. He just loved people in the name of Jesus.
The woman at the well was surprised that Jesus would initiate a conversation with her since she was a Samaritan and He was a Jew. The Samaritans and the Jews just didn’t get along. The superpower at the time, the Roman Empire, was constantly breaking up racially motivated skirmishes between them. This didn’t faze Jesus. He walked right into Samaria and started conversations.
By breaking down the walls of prejudice, Jesus set the stage for a healing conversation with a woman who desperately needed to come to terms with her past. Like Jesus, we must not be thwarted by what culture defines as the appropriate lines between races. When we break down such walls, we will see people reconciled to God through the living water of Jesus Christ, and that is the only thing that matters.
Break through the walls of prejudice in your circle of influence.
Doug Schmidt is a freelance content developer living in Denver. His favorite thing to do is to sit in comfortable chairs and “download the day” with his wife.