the despised

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“There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:8-10

The Jews often regarded the Samaritans as “despised” people because they were people of mixed breed; they were Jews who intermarried with the foreigners. They were so many reasons why the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans seem irreconcilable but when Jesus came his message was that of peace and he preached it in Samaria and even after his departure from earth his apostles followed his examples. Jesus didn’t actually saw the Samaritans the way the Jews would see them! That was why Jesus talked about a “Good Samaritan” and would pass through Samaria while traveling!

Jesus didn’t wait for the Samaritan woman to talk to him first, he took the first step! His move surprised the Samaritan woman. Today we would wait for unbelievers to wake up one morning and start trekking to our Churches like zombies, it doesn’t work that way. What has always been your reaction towards the people you consider “despised”? In countries with diverse people and diverse cultures it is easy to find various ethnic groups that despise each other! In Nigeria for example, the Ibo* people often consider other Ibos who lives in the Niger-Delta areas as less Ibos and they are often despised on the grounds of what happened during the Biafran civil war. In the same manner the Ibos generally regard the Hausas as “despised” while the Hausas in turn see the Ibos the same way because the Ibos are majorly Christians and the Hausas majorly Muslims.

Would Jesus have been in Nigeria and be an Igbo, what would his reaction be when he meets an Hausa Muslim woman? Would he request milk from her just to get her attention? I would imagine Jesus smiling as he requested water from the Samaritan woman. Remember, the Samaritans had a mixed religion that the Jews also considered inferior! But Jesus said to her

“If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water”

What a wonderful way to reach out to people who others consider enemies! Jesus told her that God had a gift for her and a wonderful gift at that! When we meet people of other religion or background would we tell them about God’s gift to them or argue into the moon how false their religion is? Even when the woman presented an argument to Jesus concerning the right place of worship, Jesus didn’t yield to that argument! Rather, Jesus explained to her that is doesn’t really matter anymore because the time has come when God is worshiped in Spirit and in Truth!

This alone would tell us why we’ve not won enough souls for God. We try to dictate to people the best way to worship God, we try to make them look guilty if they don’t use certain liturgy and follow certain procedures in worshiping God. We make them look inferior when they opt for a denomination other than ours.

Perhaps all we do is argue with unbelievers without really telling them the main thing. Our differences means nothing to God, all God expects from us is not to reconcile our differences or dispute it, but he expects us to consider those differences nothing worthy of our attention. God is only interested in our Spiritual worship! The Spiritual afterall determines the physical! The most important thing is to reach out to these people with God’s gift for them.

What is that gift? Let’s see it

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

A sinner is a sinner, telling them they are sinners doesn’t make them stop sinning. Jesus would always tell the Pharisees how wrong they are because they always consider themselves perfect people but to the sinner who acknowledges his or her sin he would tell “go and sin no more!” Yes, people may be doing several things we see as sin but it is important we communicate God’s gift to them! Jesus seeing how adulterous the Samaritan woman was did not begin to tell her how wrong she was, she already knew she was wrong! He did not also tell her that her sins don’t really matter but rather Jesus pointed her to himself and said “I am the Messiah!”

Jesus is that gift he told the woman about, believing in him alone sets her free from bondage of sin and death! Jesus knew that nothing else would save this woman expect believing in the Messiah, the gift of God to the world!

You really need to understand what happened. This Samaritan woman was adulterous and she has lived with several men in her life, a woman like that might have also committed several abortions if it was in vogue at that time and she must have also told lots of lies and steal lots of money to survive. She was practically not an honest woman to dwell with… perhaps that was more reason she wouldn’t stay with just one man. A woman like this met Jesus and Jesus told her expressly that God has a gift for a sinner like her; Jesus avoided arguing with her over issues regarding them and the Jews. Jesus didn’t condemn her for her acts, he simply allowed her to acknowledge that she was living in sin and then he pointed to himself and said “I am the Saviour!” Indirectly, Jesus had led this woman to believe in him so that she can be saved. The Bible says

“…God sent his Son so that whosoever who believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

That same life was called “the gift of God” in Romans 6:23. This has to be the way we approach people that others considers despised. Today, how would you approach that Muslim that you have previously seen as ignorant? How would you approach that Hindu and Pagan? How would you approach that harlot? As a Christian, there is something they don’t have that you have! They don’t have that living water that will make them thirst no more! They don’t have that gift God has made available to them and you simply need to overlook their religion and attitude and channel them to Jesus in love! Look at the Samaritan woman, she was a sinner but the moment she met Jesus she became a preacher asking other people to come and see the one who saves! What a glorious transformation!

Today, reach out to someone in your office, school, work field, shopping mall, hospital and other places with God’s gift… That is all they need!

Hope you are blessed by today’s devotional?

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