Why did the Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans? We began to answer this question yesterday and it will interest you to know that the enmity ran even deeper. We mentioned earlier that at the time John the Baptist and Jesus were in ministry there was a huge Rabbinic movement. There were a lot of scholars and Rabbis at that time. In fact, the title Rabbi was just taking form at the time. Many times, they would call Jesus and John the Baptist, Rabbi. Rabbi Eliezer, a contemporary of Jesus and very powerful Rabbi said, “He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like the one who eats the flesh of swine.” This statement is written historically and documented in Jewish text. The hatred was not just political, it was a religious institution.
Whoever eats the bread and by extension drinks the water of the Samaritan and is like one who eats the flesh of a pig. To a Jew eating a pig, an unclean animal, is an abomination. This position is coming from the religious authorities of the day. So, why would you, Jesus, have anything to do with me, a ‘Samaritan’ Woman? At this time, we have people that are racist; we used to think that racism and segregation were just between the Caucasians and people of African descent. But more and more, we see segregation even among black people. It is unbelievable. We cannot over emphasize the error in one person thinking he or she is superior, or a race thinking it is superior to others. Some people think that they are superior, in different cultures. Even among the Yoruba people in Nigeria, there are tribes that feel superior to the others.
Someone said to me in reference to another tribe, ‘Those ones were the ones we conquered in the Yoruba war; they are our slaves.’ And he was saying it with so much arrogance. The Igbo tribe has a group they refer to as the ‘Osus’ [meaning outcast]. People grew up with their parents telling them never to bring an ‘Osu’ into their house or they will be disowned. You are a Christian today, if your child wants to marry an ‘Osu’, what would you say? Some people are like, “Pastor, can he or she not find someone else?’ It shows that you have the seed of segregation. It means that you have a problem and that problem is what Jesus has come to solve. You need help as much as the white man who thinks the black man is a monkey.
Do you know that there are men that say they would not marry a woman except she is light-skinned? So, what happens to all the dark-skinned sisters? A lady insists she cannot marry a man because he is short, he is not tall. What happens to the normal, average height brothers? We build walls of segregation, of partitioning. We tell people not to marry from certain tribes. We put walls where God does not put walls. Jesus’ statement was, ‘In the midst of racial discrimination, I am associating with you a Samaritan woman, not from Me helping you or giving you aid but from Me asking you to give Me water.’ Wow!
Prayer: Father, please purge my heart of every trace of segregation, in Jesus Name. Amen!