Today’s Scripture: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28

Fractions cannot be added or subtracted until they are reduced to the least common denominator. If you judged from the surface, the Samaritan woman Jesus met at the well of Sychar should not have been added to the same spiritual family as the Pharisee, Nicodemus. They stood worlds apart socially, morally, culturally, academically, theologically, and emotionally. She was a Samaritan; he was a Jew. She was indifferent; he was seeking. She was disgraced; he was respected. She was flippant; he was serious. She was immoral; he was moral. She was unorthodox; he was orthodox. She was ignorant; he was learned. These differences formed the roots of the prejudices their respective countries held against one another.

In spite of their differences, the Samaritan woman and Nicodemus needed the same thing. Jesus was the Common Denominator. He transcended the national prejudices which divided the Jews and Samaritans, and He met each lost person at their level. They accepted Him as their Savior not because of His race, cultural background, academic prowess, or social status, but because of His provision for their spiritual need.

The same differences which divided the Samaritan woman and Nicodemus divide people today. Differences are very real, and we need to acknowledge them rather than pretend they do not exist. However, we should also remember that beneath the surface all people share the need for salvation. Jesus Christ can meet that need — and He wants to do it through us. He works through us when we learn to see beyond others’ differences their spiritual needs.

When you see people from other cultures, do you see their differences or their needs? Do you conclude someone from their culture is better equipped to reach them with the gospel, or do you take it upon yourself? You might not be comfortable interacting with people who are different from you; but if you are a Christian, your Savior transcends their differences. He transcends your prejudices. And He will use you to lead them to Him — if you will allow Him.

 

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.