The Evils of Prejudice

He left Judea and went again to Galilee. He had to travel through Samaria, so He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. John 4:3-5 HCSB

Our country recently celebrated and remembered the Civil Rights March on Washington where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. I can remember as a child that black Americans were forced to ride in the back of a bus and were not allowed to eat in some public restaurants. During this era white Americans and black Americans had separate drinking fountains. That was a terrible time in the history of the United States. Black Americans were unfairly discriminated against because of the color of their skin.

In Jesus’ time the same type of prejudice existed toward the Samaritans. The Northern Kingdom had been defeated by the Assyrians. They deported many of the Jews into slavery and brought foreigners into Samaria to settle the land. The foreigners intermarried with the remaining Jews, thus creating the mixed-race, mixed-religion country of Samaritans. Jews did not want to defile themselves by coming into contact with Samaritans, so they took extreme measures to avoid the Samaritan country and its people, who they considered to be unclean. To this end, most Jews would cross over the Jordan River, travel several miles up its east bank until they reached Damascus, which was far out of their way. Jesus however, did not avoid the Samaritans but traveled straight through their country, indicating He did not consider them to be unclean.

Challenge: Are you prejudiced toward a certain group of people? Ask God to reveal your prejudice and to help you make changes so you can see all people through the eyes of Jesus.

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