Outsider

All of us live an imperfect life.

The thrust of the story that we have been reflecting upon this week in John 4:1-42 is that Jesus is committed to inviting imperfect people to receive hope and  ‘life to the fullest’. The Samaritan woman was imperfect. And like so many of us…   she was considered an ‘outsider’ by the good, traditional religious people of the day. Yet, we read in John 4:20, in her conversation with Jesus, that she was seeking a right relationship with God:

Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you* say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’

Many of us have been ‘outsiders’ to the good, religious people of today because our lifestyle or beliefs just don’t fit perfectly. And there is nothing quite so discouraging in seeking after a right relationship with God than to have good, traditional ‘God’ people say, “you’re not doing it right” or “you are and outsider”.

Notice Jesus doesn’t do that. Instead, Jesus extends the invitation, personally.

If you are reading this today as one of the good, traditional religious people…   have you pushed someone to the outside because of their imperfect life or belief?

If you are reading this today as an ‘outsider’…   do you believe that Jesus invitation is still for you? Especially for you?