Humanity First

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

“Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John” —although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria.” [John 4:1-4]

When you organize a drive through a city, do you pay attention to the neighborhoods? Do you make sure your route doesn’t take you into “that” part of town?  Jesus left Judea and started back to Galilee. “But,” begins the next sentence.  The quickest way to get from Judea to Galilee was through Samaria, “But” his disciples would have preferred the longer route. “Those” Samaritans were not their people. They were the “other” that inhabited that part of town or in this case that part of countryside. What amazed the disciples though is that Jesus broke all social customs when they stopped for a break in Samaria by Jacob’s well. Jesus not only talked to a Samaritan, but to a Samaritan woman! It seems Jesus saw an individual’s humanity first, their belovedness as a child of God, before any human made classification that generally leads to exclusive behavior.

We are in the midst of a social revolution in America because of our human classifications that have dehumanized some among us. Jesus would be actively engaged in the revolution, encouraging all of us to really see others, all others as one of God’s beloved children regardless of any human classification we can muster. “In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God’s image, male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community.”


Creating God, I confess that I like comfort and I am more comfortable with others who are like me.  Forgive me when I dehumanize any one of your beloved children, because of skin color or political affiliation or anything else. “Give me your eyes,” as Brandon Heath sings, “For just one second.”  Help me to see others as you do, O God.  Amen.


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