John 4:1-14 (15-42)
''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.'' John 4:10, NIV
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal got into some hot water a few weeks back when he spoke in London about so-called ''No Go Zones'' in Europe where sovereign nations allegedly cede authority to Muslim immigrants, a controversial idea that many critics say is overblown. While questions remain about ''No Go Zones'' in Europe, what is not in question is that within Israel during New Testament times there was a ''No Go Zone'' of sorts, it was called Samaria. But it wasn't that the Jewish people ''could not'' go into Samaria, or have dealings with the Samaritans, they just ''did not want to'' have anything to do with them.
So you can imagine the surprise of the woman when Jesus asked her for a drink of water. His request was simple and harmless enough. It was noon and it was hot and he did look pretty weary. And after she got over the shock of his question, she reminded him, ''You are a Jew and I am Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (v.9). The Jews don't associate with us Samaritans. Somebody must have forgotten to tell Jesus that little detail.
Followers of Jesus Cross Barriers
John records that Jesus intentionally went where few Jews would, right into the heart of Samaria to the town of Sychar (v.4). He came to Samaria with his disciples but at present they have gone into town to buy food (v.8). They are out to lunch in more ways than one, as we discover later on. When they do return Jesus will teach them that the only barriers that stand between them and fulfilling God's mission are human and self-constructed barriers. Instead of respecting man's social barriers, Jesus will tell them that to follow him is to be actively involved in crossing barriers. Do not say ''Four months more and than the harvest . . . open your eyes and look ...
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