We are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. That’s a central point of the Bible. That’s the line God draws: forgiven and redeemed versus unforgiven and lost. I know that’s not a popular message. However, the way to cross from unforgiven and lost to forgiven and redeemed is a free gift, offered by Jesus to all. To all. It doesn’t matter what race you are. It doesn’t matter what gender you are. It doesn’t matter what your past was. God doesn’t draw lines on those things like we do. Even the best of us do. God does not.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. – John 4:7-9, ESV
The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans because they considered them half-breeds who worshipped God incorrectly. Add to that that Jesus was male and the one He spoke to was female, and He was crossing three human drawn lines when He spoke to her. Naturally, this caught the Samaritan woman by surprise. That’s why she responded the way she did.
While Jesus may have been thirsty – we’d expect such based on His travel – His primary purpose in opening a conversation with the Samaritan woman wasn’t to attend to His needs, but her greatest need. And not just hers, but everyone’s within a reasonable distance. He was giving them an opportunity to cross the line from unforgiven and lost to forgiven and redeemed. After all, He came into the world to save us from our sins. Her gender and race were irrelevant to Jesus. Only the fact that she was a sinner mattered.
We draw lines intentionally and unintentionally when it comes to people. The example Jesus demonstrates here is for us to stop drawing those lines. We aren’t to care about anything other than whether or not a person belongs to Jesus. In this we care only from the perspective of helping folks cross from unforgiven and lost to forgiven and redeemed. We do this by sharing the Gospel through both word and deed.
It’s a simple example, but it’s often lost in today’s world. There’s money and power in creating and fostering division. Therefore, we are bombarded with messages that conflict with Jesus’ example. We must not listen to those messages. Instead, we must act in opposition to them.
We are to try to reach all with the message of the Gospel. And we are also to try to love and serve and care for all with the same sacrificing love our Savior demonstrated during His ministry with us. We aren’t to choose against someone because of race, gender, or past. We aren’t to choose against anyone for any other human-drawn line of separation. That’s not the way of our Savior. That cannot be the way of His people. Let it not be so with us. Let us erase those human-drawn lines. Let us try to reach, love, and serve all in the name of Jesus.