Jesus’ ExamplePayton Flener
My heart has been so heavy. And while there has been a lot of good thoughts and perspective on social media, I just really sought to hear from the Lord on guidance in what we’re walking through. And this morning as I was just praying and asking God guidance in how He could help me put feet to my prayers, He just whispered John 4 over me. I’m no stranger to John 4- it’s the story of the woman at the well. A story near and dear to my heart as it birthed the Leave the Water Jar Collective here on this page just 6 months ago, but honestly I really didn’t see this one coming. I hope you’ll read this all the way out to the end because I truly believe this is a teaching moment from the Lord that He wanted me to share with you all.
Before you read what I’m about to say, I would encourage you to read John 4:1-42 for some background. The Bible is not stranger to racism and in the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, we see that. Jews were considered to be God’s chosen people- the line of Jesus. Samaritans were their own culture. They worshipped differently and the Bible tells us that the Jews had no dealings with them. There’s a past there. And while I’d like to sit here today and pretend that we’re hundreds of years out from Black Americans fighting for basic rights in the Civil Rights movement, the reality is that my living grandfather saw it all and we just cannot afford to pretend like racism does not still exist any longer.
Here’s what we can learn from Jesus, a Jew, on his journey from Judea to Galilee. He chose the harder path. He chose to walk through Samaria. A city where most Jewish men would walk around it, Jesus walked through it.
- Jesus didn’t turn a blind eye even when it was the harder path.
And not just that, but Jesus stopped in the city and did the unthinkable. He talked to a Samaritan woman at the well. Imagine that: a Jewish man in conversation with a Samaritan woman. He didn’t get there and gather everyone around this well and stand up on it and begin preaching.
2. Jesus simply had a one-to-one conversation.
And then He began the heart work. While this woman is clearly shocked that He’s there and speaking to her, you can tell that she’s even a little defensive and understandably so. She’d been looked on as less than by Jews her whole life, what was going to be different about this man? BUT:
3. Jesus met a need.
He offered her Living Water and when she questioned his motive,
4. Jesus showed that he knew and cared for her deeply.
He began to speak beyond her labels and into her heart.
This is beauty from ashes. The BIG impact happened when the woman went back and told the community and the Word tell us that “many believed in Jesus because of this woman’s testimony”.
5. He didn’t preach to all, but he sought to reach one. And by reaching one, he impacted all.
I believe Jesus’ example is perfect and relevant today for a practical place to start. We can share all the quotes and feel all the things, but maybe it simply begins with taking the harder path and some conversation with a sister or brother of color. That’s where I’m starting. One conversation at a time, I will educate myself, I will work on my heart, and I’m believing that Jesus will take that planted seed and grow it. I hope you will too.