“Just then His disciples arrived. They were astonished to find Him talking to a woman, but none of them asked Him why He was doing it or what they had been discussing” (John 4:27 – New Living Translation).
I left for Korea with many presupposed ideas. Many of my relatives and acquaintances had fought against Asian peoples in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Before the age of ten, I’d learned every derogatory name for Asian persons you could imagine. Once arriving in Korea, who do you suppose I was assigned to as a roommate? You guessed it…a Korean! We served along side K.A.T.U.S.As. That means “Koreans Attached to The United States Army.” I was mad! I wondered, “How could the army stick me with this so and so?!”
In our Scripture for today, we find Jesus conversing with a Samaritan (vs 7). Not only is she Samaritan, but a woman! Men generally considered conversing with a woman beneath them in those days. Not only was this person Samaritan and a woman, she is out in the middle of the day getting water (vs 6). This is significant because nobody else did that. This tells us that she wanted to be out when no one else was. Why? Look at John 4:17-18; there you will find the answer. She had had FIVE husbands to that point! Now that may be commonplace today, although it should not be, but it was definitely uncommon in that day. This person had three huge strikes; a Samaritan, which Jews hated (generally speaking), a woman, and a woman of ill repute because of her multiple marriages.
The disciples arrive on the scene. They were “astonished.” Here sat Jesus talking to a hated, sinful, Samaritan WOMAN! Look at the Scripture closely. Nobody bothered to ask Jesus why He was talking to her and what He had been discussing. They simply made assumptions.
Like Jesus, we need to get off of our assumption box and see the need folks have. Sure, Jesus saw the sinner, the woman, and the Samaritan wrapped up in one package, but more importantly He saw a person in need of salvation. He saw thirst that needed eternal quenching. He saw a soul in need of Him. That’s what Christ looks for in people…their need. What He offers is Himself as a solution. We need to capture the vision of Christ in Matthew 9:36, which says, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (KJV). That is what Christ saw in this SINFUL, SAMARITAN WOMAN. What do you think you would have seen?
I learned a lot from my Korean friend. Yes, I said friend. His name was Park Yun Soo. He wanted much of the same things from life I did; family, an education, friends, employment, security, and hope. It was not until the walls of assumption were destroyed did I see this man for what he was…a man needing the same Jesus that I did.
Assumptions may be blocking your witness today. Assumptions may be blocking an opportunity to be God’s hands and feet. Rather than gawking at a lost world in astonishment, let’s get to the business of being “moved with compassion” and showing a hurting world the saving Christ.