We live in a world of partiality. Whether or not we believe or acknowledge it, we all live with certain biases that affect the way we view and treat others. We give leniency or preference to some, while others we criticize and set aside. By our words and actions we deem who we believe to be worthy, accepted, and valued, and who is not.
In John 4 we see Jesus go against every societal bias in that day. Jesus, a Jewish man, sits at a well and strikes up a conversation with a Samaritan woman. Not only was it uncommon then for a man to show any sign of respect for a woman, but the Jews despised the Samaritans. You would never have seen a Jewish man reach out to a Samaritan woman. Ever. Even the woman thought it strange (John 4:9). Jesus, however, is not bound by societal norms and expectations. Instead, He is moved by the heart of God to show God’s love to His children.
This woman had a fairly colored past, one littered with brokenness and shame. To herself, she was worthless; to the public, a disgrace. It was likely that at every turn she was met with looks of disapproval and disgust. Then she met Jesus, a man full of mercy and compassion.
In every interaction–with every word and deed–Jesus showed people their true value. A value based not on the subjective biases of the cultural, but on the intrinsic value established by their Creator. Every human possesses great value, not because society says so, but because God says so. Jesus knew this and He lived it.
Like Jesus, we should be moved by the love of God to show all people they are worthy, accepted, and valued, especially the oppressed and rejected. Every word and action should be directed toward this end. Unfortunately our sinful hearts get in the way of seeing and treating others in this way. Our own prejudices fight against the very heart of God for His children. May this be no more! We must battle against our sinful nature and strive to show honor, respect and love. In doing so, our broken and suffering world will be drawn to its Savior, in whom it will find perfect healing and restoration.
What makes you feel valued?
How are you showing others that they are valuable to you?
In what way can you act like Jesus to bring healing and restoration?
By Chris Willett | Springville, UT