Countercultural I

Jn.4:9&27 “She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink? …Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?…” (emphasis added).

What this woman was really saying is, ‘It is bad enough that I am from Samaria and You are a Jew. And added to being a Samaritan, I am a woman, ‘a woman’. So why are You asking me for a drink?’ Did Jesus not know she was a woman? So why did she feel the need to stress that fact further? It is because what Jesus was doing was countercultural. Jesus’ disciples show up on the scene and are shocked to find Him talking to ‘a woman’ and the Bible says none of them had the nerve to question Him. For those of us that have been in positions of authority, you know how it is when you make a decision that the people you are leading do not understand. But no one has the guts to say anything. Jesus was not towing the line of culture at all.

Was He toasting a babe by the well? Do you know what happens at the well? The well is where Rebecca was found for Isaac. Usually, young adults hang out at the well to have conversations; the young men show off their muscles to the young women by carrying their water jar. That is what happens at the well. And the disciples met Jesus talking to a woman, a Samaritan woman, in broad daylight by the well. Excuse me, what was going through their minds? Sometimes, we read the Bible and we just assume that these people had pure thoughts. What caused their shock? Their conversation was probably something like this: ‘Finally, the Master has found a girl.’ ‘We said it; let us see how long He will last without a woman. After all, He is a human being and has feelings just like we do.’ When you read the Bible and as you engage the text, also try to put yourself into the scenarios and conversations.

Who do you think started the conversation? I would not put it past Peter. He said, ‘John, can you see what I am seeing?’ John said, ‘Shhhh lower your voice. The Master must not hear this.’ Thaddeus said, ‘Can you see how relaxed He is? This man was hungry and tired when we left. He sent us to quickly get Him food because He was hungry. But now He is relaxed, no sign of pressure and happily chatting.’ Bartholomew said, ‘We are not children. We can see what is going on here.’ But none of them could ask Him, “What are you doing with this woman?” This culture of ours makes it difficult to fully understand why Jesus talking to a woman would be a big deal. But in Jesus’ time, it was. Rabbis would say to their disciples that it is better for the Law [the Torah] to be burned than delivered to a woman. That was how they demeaned women. The Pharisees said that each time a man looks at a woman, he inherits gehennom. Gehennom is like hell fire but it is the purgatory part. It is a myth that the fire will purify the person. In public, the women cover themselves and look down and the men ignore them. Yet this Jesus is the Rabbi about whom John said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”, and here He is, by the well, looking into a woman’s eyes and talking to her in a relaxed way – hellfire!

Prayer: Father, help me not judge situations by what I see or hear, in Jesus Name. Amen.

Posted on Monday 26 July, 2021, in Align, Answers, Approval, Authority, Bible, Capacity, Christ, Courage, Culture. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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