Break The Rules
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’”
John 4:7 (NIV)
By asking a Samaritan woman for a drink of water, Jesus was breaking the rules on a number of levels. Jews and Samaritans didn’t mix, Jewish men didn’t talk to women in public, and no self-respecting person would want to be seen with this woman, considering her reputation.
None of this seemed to bother Jesus. He saw a human being in need, and was prepared to break the accepted rules in order to reach out to her.
She was understandably hesitant to accept Jesus’ approach, saying in John 4:9, “’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.)” However, she eventually faced her own issues, came to the point where she wondered if Jesus was the Messiah, and went to the town to tell people about him.
There was an important message here for the disciples to learn: Jesus broke down barriers in order to show her that he was the Christ. This was a real challenge for the disciples, and we read in verse John 4:27 (NKJV), “they marvelled that He talked with a woman.” They had to realise that it would be their job too, to break down barriers in order to share the gospel, not least with the Gentiles.
And beyond the disciples, there is a message and challenge to each of us. The gospel isn’t about maintaining rules and regulations, cultures and traditions; it isn’t about upholding conventions, but primarily it’s about relationships and love. And for that message to get through, sometimes you have to break the rules.
Father, help me to value people and relationships more than I do the accepted norms of engagement. May love, and not rules, define what I do.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
Worldwide Church of God London
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