Welcoming Samaritans

“The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” – John 4:9 Yesterday, we talked about lepers, the first of four kinds of “untouchables” whom Jesus willingly touched. Today, I want to look at the second set of outcasts He welcomed to His midst, and those were Samaritans. Many of us who grew up studying the Bible, especially the story of the Good Samaritan, know that this particular group of people was hated by the Jews, but we may not understand why. The reason they were especially despised by the Hebrew people is because they were considered “half breeds.” They held certain Jewish traditions, but they had their own Torah and their own synagogue. In essence, they believed that their religion was the “true” form of Judaism —

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If Not For Grace, It Would Be Garbage

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ…” – Philippians 3:7,8 Yesterday, we talked about the Apostle Paul and his life as a religious “superstar” prior to meeting Jesus. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews — a stellar Pharisee — and his accomplishments in the realm of Judaism were huge. He sought to keep the whole letter of the law and held everyone else to the same standard of perfection. Unfortunately, though his intentions were to do right by God, his religiosity caused him to become legalistic and hardened. But everything changed the day he was introduced to Christ. On a trip to Damascus to persecute followers

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