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February 28 - Scandal

3rd Sunday of Lent

Jesus is breaking down the cultural norms of 1st century Jewish life
But he is showing us another way to look at scandal –
Jesus shows us that scandal can be a good thing
Here we have Jesus going to Jacob’s well at midday
He sits down next to a Samaritan Woman and asks her for something to drink
From her response, I imagine this woman giving Jesus a very strange facial expression here
She wonders why a Jewish man is there at noontime speaking with her
The Jews never went to the well at midday because it was very hot
But the Samaritans went to the well at this time… it was the cultural norm
Jesus enters into scandalous activity right from the beginning as he starts talking to a Samaritan woman.
Not only was it culturally unacceptable for Jews to interact with Samaritans -
It was very scandalous for a Jewish man to speak with a woman who was not his immediate relative
Even Jesus’s disciples enter into the scene and begin to ask questions to themselves … why is Jesus doing this

Why does Jesus do all of this?
He does it for a variety of reasons
But I think Jesus enters into scandal here to show us that some scandal can be good
Most of the stories we hear in the New Testament sound normal to us.
Jesus cures, Jesus speaks to people, Jesus does other miracles
But to a 1st century Jew, He is being very scandalous – going against everything in the Jewish culture
But Jesus always explains why He does what He does

He always puts the person first – even if that means He has to enter into the dirtiness of their life, our life