Compassion Over Judgement
Bradon: Hey, a serious question for you. Have you ever experienced racism or discrimination?
Jon: Not personally, but I have watched it happen to people who are very close to me!
Bradon: Coming up on the Bible Story Podcast. We watch how Jesus responds to the marginalized.
About the Story
Bradon: Today, we are going to learn to choose compassion over judgement.
Jon: There are Jews, and there are Samaritans, and these two people groups didn’t mix.
Bradon: Samaritans were half Jewish and half Assiryian. Jews despised them and thought they were a lesser people group. Yes, there was racism way back then too!
Jon: Not only was there racism, but people discriminated against women too. Women did not have the same rights and privileges as men.
Bradon: Now, there was also another group that devout Jews looked down upon because they thought of themselves as religiously or spiritually superior.
Jon: You are talking about people who did wrong things that broke the religious laws. Tax collectors, thieves, prostitutes, or were all seen as sinners—people who were less than the religious elite and even everyday ordinary people. We have two characters in this story Jesus and a woman.
Bradon: But not just any woman. She was a Samaritan, and people saw her as a sinner. So she had all three strikes against her that we described.
Bradon: This woman couldn’t do anything about being a woman or a samaritan; The consequence of being a woman, without a husband, in these times would be that your basic human rights were not given. Women didn’t have the respect, or social influence to be able to provide for themselves.
We know so little about the choices the Samaritan woman made. They could have been deliberately sinful, but they may have also been based on survival. We simply don’t know the whole story.
Jon: She was judged and marginalized for her gender, race, and her many husbands and the man she lived with. Even though we don’t know the Woman’s full story, Jesus did. He knew everything; all her choices and how others had maybe taken advantage of her. We don’t know how much control and choice she had with all of these marriages and living arrangements, but we do know that the difficulty she experienced created a very soft heart to receive Christ with!
Bradon: Jesus led with compassion, not Judgement – could you imagine if he leads with judgement rather than compassion?
Jon: This woman would have blown off Jesus. If he judged her, anything good from him would have been viewed differently. She would have been skeptical of everything, especially his claim to be the messiah.
Bradon: Instead, because he led with compassion, she and much of the town received Jesus warmly, were blessed by his teachings and miracles, and believed that he was the Messiah, the chosen one!
Jon: Jesus tells the disciples that the town was ready to receive him, just like when the fields are ready to be harvested at harvest time. It is evident to Jesus that the people who were hurting were prepared to receive Christ. Bradon: And they did because Jesus chose compassion over judgement.