Monday, May 30, 2011

John 4:7-9. Pride and Prejudice

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Prejudice is a terrible thing. The Samaritan woman assumed that Jesus as a Jew would have a particular attitude towards her. (Jews did not associate with Samaritans) and any other Jew would have assumed that she was typical of what they thought of Samaritan women (she had had five husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband).

Yet Jesus, totally without prejudice, just saw her as a soul to be won for the Gospel.

Are we prejudiced? A story is told of a young man with long hair and a scruffy beard who came into a Presbyterian church dressed in a flowing robe and sandals. He went to the front of the church and sat down on the floor. One of the Elders went and sat down beside him and engaged him in conversation. There was much muttering.

Afterwards the Elder was asked how he could do such a thing. He replied, "It was a no-brainer. He was the only one in the whole building who was dressed like Jesus."

Music can put us off; so can dress, the way of praying, whether people stand up or sit down, language, accent, slang, the way of eating, where people live; we are easily prejudiced. Yet Jesus told us not to judge lest we be judged. |That instruction can be taken out of context, but at the very least it means that we should not be prejudiced.

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