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Episode Info: For Christians, the story of The Woman at the Well is a favorite because it highlights Jesus’ response of love and respect to someone many might overlook or dismiss.In the story of the Woman at the Well, Jesus did not dwell on this woman’s past. We don’t dwell on pasts, either. Jesus offered her hope. We do the same.But Jesus did something else which is well worth emulating. In a sense, Jesus took five action steps which—in our current times--we can adopt, paving the road to racial reconciliation.The Woman at the Well is also known as The Samaritan Woman. To the Jewish people, Samaritans were not just “different,” they were lesser people. “Good” Jews then, didn’t speak to Samaritans. Nor did they go near Samaritan villages. If a Jew had a straight-line journey taking him through a Samaritan area, he would add hours or days to his journey to go around these communities.In short, the Jewish view of Samaritans was one of contempt. But this wasn’t one-sided. The Samaritans felt the same way.In one conversation however, Jesus launched a process that would shift this dynamic, crashing the walls dividing these two cultures.  Jesus’ conversation with The Samaritan Woman began with nothing more than a request for a drink of water. By the end of this story, a large number of Samaritans were following Jesus, a member of the very sect of Jews they despised. Jesus built a bridge of community across a chasm of hate and distrust. In our conversation, Jenn and Kirk look at Jesus’ five action steps which changed everything. 1-Jesus Went Out of His WayJews avoided Samaritans, right? Not Jesus. He made it a point to go through a Samaritan village and he took the initiative to begin a conversation. Not an argument, but a conversation. Today’s culture is full of anger, vitriol and screeds on social media. The Christian community has a golden opportunity to take the initiative to begin conversations in quiet places where peace can reign.2-Jesus Engaged the Samaritan WomanReading John’s account of this story, we find Jesus did a lot of listening. This was no one-way sermon, this was a dialogue where Jesus never reacted but responded in ways which kept the conversation moving forward. Today’s world doesn’t need another “Mic Drop” moment. Instead, we need open communication.3-Jesus Didn’t Take SidesWhen the Samaritan Woman attempted to draw Jesus into a debate over theological issues (“You people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship”), Jesus didn’t take the bait.Instead of focusing on where to worship, Jesus zeroed in on who to worship. “Believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father.”This is a fascinating exchange, because while in the next sentence Jesus mentions that “salvation is from the Jews,” He does so while inviting her to inclusion instead of exclusion.As we engage in conversations, we understand our role is not to take si...
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