Jesus reversed over 800 years of racial trouble in 24 hours. Racial reconciliation isn’t difficult. It’s only hard because we don’t follow Christ.
Samaritan Woman. (John 4)
Jesus, verse 4, had to pass through Samaria. But Jews did not. They went out of their way to avoid the Samaritans. Jesus had to pass through Samaria – not because there was no other way, but because he had an appointment with a woman, set up by God. He met her at the well (v5) of Sychar. Jacob’s well.
Why this well? Both loved Jacob. Jesus met her on common ground.
There was a spiritual need. That is what drove him.
He told her to give him drink. He asked for water. Editorial note. Disciples were gone to get food. Jesus was alone. She is surprised that he asked for water. Jews don’t normally do this. How did she know? Something in Jesus’ appearance or clothing was obviously Jewish.
He did not give up his Jewishness to reach her. He didn’t fake it. He put was willing to put aside the prejudices and hatreds normal to his race aside so that he could reach out to her. We don’t have to stop being white or black, we just have to be biblical. We have to be Christian. Just act unlike the bad side of the race. You can be a Jew, just don’t act like the Pharisees.
Jesus was willing to drink from her cup. Through social interaction he showed that he valued her as a person. He didn’t just proclaim truth to her, he put his lips to her cup.
Because Jesus was willing to drink from her cup, he could then discuss issues of eternal life with her, and she would listen. She is interested in his message because she knew he was interested in her as a person.
Jesus then dealt with her generations of history and heritage (long, outstanding racial division and history of hostility between Jews and Samaritans). Jesus explains the important issue. It’s not history, heritage or such – it’s spirit and truth. Black is only beautiful when it is biblical. White is only right when it conforms to holy writ.
The reason it is taking forever to fix things today is that we have abandoned truth for culture. We are letting the culture drag the truth instead of vice versa.
Peter and Cornelius. When God opens his heart to the Gentiles, and eats with them, then feels pressure from the Jews of Jerusalem and separates. Galatians 2 says even Barnabas was carried away by the hypocrisy. The pressure to conform to culture caused a rift in the Body. Peter had no trouble eating with the Gentiles until “his people” showed up. Then, Paul showed up.
Paul says, “they acted not in concert with the gospel.” Paul publicly rebuked Peter for not acting in line with the GOSPEL because he separated from Gentiles for a meal. The gospel content is the finished work of Christ. But the scope of the gospel includes sanctification. When you split the Body you offend the gospel. You kick the gospel in the teeth. You create an illegitimate division in the Body of Christ.
You do not ask the Kingdom of God to adjust to you and your beliefs. Your culture is not what matters. You come to God and you adjust to him. Your culture fades in the light of who God is and you conform to him instead of demanding that God and the church conform to who you are!
Whites tend to be Republican because of issues that matter to us. Blacks tend to be Democrat because of issues that matter to them. But in the kingdom, those political differences are not the defining issue.
The disciples came back and were upset with him for speaking to a Samaritan woman. Jesus didn’t let the racism of others stop him from doing the Father’s business. Jesus told the disciples that he had food that they did not understand. Note – they were the disciples, but they did not understand the real harvest! The harvest is ready right now! Let’s not talk about it. Let’s do it. Let’s engage. The fields are ready.
The Samaritans came and asked Jesus to stay with them for two days. He stayed with them. Galatians 2:20 comes at the end of the story about racial reconciliation the Paul and Peter incident.
1. Solemn assembly in a community.
2. Church, school and family. Bring them together
The gospel emulsifies us. Grabs people who cannot mix together in humanity and pulls us together and makes us one.
(Big standing Ovation!)