August 31, 2020
So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
If you had a chance to hear this week’s sermon, you will know that the Israelites viewed the Samaritans with the utmost contempt. They were considered traitors and heretics. Yet Jesus goes straight into Samaria. What a powerful foreshadowing of the gospel.
We see that Jesus did not fear the potential “contamination” of passing through Samaria. In that day, Jews would shake the dust off their feet after leaving Samaria, symbolically demonstrating their contempt and also to keep even the smallest bit of Samaria from entering Israel. Jesus does not act in the same way. Instead, he embodied the gospel truth – how the contamination process now runs in reverse. Think of it this way. If you add clean water to a dirty glass, you now have dirty water. That’s how contamination works. Or if you add a small amount of food coloring to a bucket of water, all of the water is now colored. That’s how the Jews viewed all sin and uncleanness. It spread from person to person – it even spread from person, to object, to person. If you touched something an “unclean” person had touched, you were now ceremonially unclean as well.
But in entering Samaria, Jesus shows how his power works. He brings purity with him, and spreads it to all he encounters. Another example of this is found in Mark 5:25-34. A woman who has been bleeding (menstruating) for 12 years touched Jesus’s cloak. According to Leviticus 15 and Jewish law, that should have made Jesus unclean. But instead, Jesus’s power flows out to her and heals her.
What about you? Do you see the power of God in you as a cleansing force you can give to the world? I’m not talking about the crusades, here. I’m talking about bringing healing to brokenness, bringing peace to conflict, strength to weakness, and comfort to sorrow. Today, ask God where he wants you to bring purity and righteousness, and to reverse the flow of contamination in the relationships and circumstances around you.