Thursday, September 13, 2018

Diversion or Delving Deeper?

I was reading in John 4 the other day, and a couple things really struck me from the comments of the woman. This is the story of Jesus and the woman at the well.

She refers to “our father” in verse 12, and “our fathers” in verse 20. “Our” is in both the father of the Jews and the father of the Samaritans—they both had the same father.

This may be a passing comment, but it also makes the point there's no real difference for the Jews to consider Samaritans as different or as other from them as they did.

When Jesus told the woman to call her husband, I had always read her response as being one of changing the subject. However, as I look at this again in the context of her “our” references, instead of this being a change of subject, it seems like it instead may be an attempt to uncover and address an underlying issue and barrier that she and her people have been facing—one that had been used to consider Samaritans as different or other.

She may have seen this time with a prophet as an opportunity to ask a lingering question. After all, she had been looking for Him (4:25-26).

Before we judge people, it's a good idea to listen to people fully, even if something seems like a diversion. Their comments are in context for them and may not be a diversion at all. It may simply be hidden to us that the person is more on topic than ever.

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