Dose of Truth

Jesus loves you

Tim Richards

For over 2,000 years the life of Jesus has fascinated millions. Even many who do not follow the teachings of Jesus are captivated by the way he treated others. Recently I have been listening to Mary DeMuth’s insightful book, “The Most Misunderstood Women of the Bible.” DeMuth observes Jesus’ lengthiest conversation in scripture was with a Samaritan woman. This is intriguing on numerous levels.

First, Jesus broke social norms of his day by speaking to a woman whom he did not know. In his society women were seen by many as second-class citizens. Some self-righteous religious leaders went even further; daily thanking God they were not female.

Second, the woman was from Samaria. While that may not mean much to most of us, in Jesus’ day it was significant. Samaritans were commonly referred to as “dogs” during a period when dogs were not kept as pets but ran wild. Today if someone calls you a dog it is no compliment, but to be called a dog 2,000 years ago was a serious insult.

Lest you think I am making too much of this, consider this misunderstood lady’s words when Jesus asked her for a drink from the well where they met, “The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, ‘You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?’” (John 4:9, NLT)

If that was not enough, when Jesus asked to meet her husband, she said she did not have one, yet we learn in scripture a short time later she had been married five times and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. This living arrangement does not alienate us today, but ancient culture was quite different and she was likely viewed as an outcast in her society. Some Bible scholars believe she was at the well in the middle of the day when Jesus arrived because she was avoiding judgmental neighbors.

In stark contrast, Jesus engaged in an extended conversation with her despite the fact she was a hated Samaritan woman, rejected by her peers. One whom 99% of Jews, both men and women, would likely have shunned. Jesus was not like others, he engaged in meaningful conversation with this despised woman.

Why? Despite the fact few people cared about her, Jesus did. She likely saw herself as worthless, but Jesus saw value in this woman from the proverbial “wrong side of the tracks.” How he treated her demonstrates that he cares deeply for those whom society views with disgust.

I do not know how others treat you, nor do I know your past mistakes. I may not know how you feel about yourself, but I know God cares for you. His actions demonstrate how he does more than simply say he loves the world; Jesus loves you regardless of your past.

As a pastor and columnist for nearly 15 newspapers, Tim Richards has lifted the spirits and challenged the hearts of those who have strong faith as well as those whose faith is weak. In his third book, “Sailing Through the Storm,” readers will again discover new ways to live with godly perspective in a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way.

Tim Richards

has been a pastor for 37 years, serving five churches, including his current church, The Refuge in St. Louis, which he founded. He and the congregation minister to those who are hurting and do their part to expand God’s kingdom. Tim and his wife Kelly have five children. “A Dose of Truth” which he has written for more than 25 years appears in 13 newspapers. His book, “Thriving in the Storm: Discovering God’s Peace and Perspective in Turbulent Times,” is available from Amazon. Feel free to contact him at iamtimrichards@yahoo.com. Photography is another of his skills. Pastor Tim’s photos may be viewed at https://flickr.com/photos/pentaxpastor.

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