Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Women: The Apostles of ChristJohn.4:27-30
V30 “So they left the town and went to Jesus.”
An Apostle is one who is called to follow Jesus on the way of the Cross, to share his vision and participate in his mission of the Kingdom of God. Several questions have been raised by many as to why Jesus chose only men as his Apostles. Perhaps, as the representatives of the 12 tribes of Israel, Jesus the itinerant preacher who had no place to lay his head, had to choose only male Apostles .That is understandable. Nevertheless, Jesus didn’t glorify the male chauvinism in the Jewish tradition .He had a preferential concern for women as they didn’t enjoy a significant place in Jewish community. Let us focus on two thoughts from the text:
One: Jesus initiates a dialogue with a stigmatized woman in public. (vs.27)
Jewish Rabbis never entertained women in public. Women were at the lowest step in the social ladder in those days. Here Jesus challenges the exclusive mind-set of the Jewish hierarchy. Even his own disciples were bewildered at the unusual and dangerous attitude of their master! This shows that they were also operating with the traditional Jewish patriarchal attitude. Through this action Jesus transcends two false notions of his own disciples and the Jews in general:
!.Through his journey into a Samaritan village, he declares that God is beyond all ethnic and caste barriers.
!!.Through his dialogue with the Samarian woman he declares that men and women are within the salvific plan of God.
Two: Discernment of the Samaritan woman (vs.29)
While the Jews failed to recognize the Messiah in their midst, the Samaritan woman recognizes Jesus as the Messiah. This clearly shows the inclusive community that Jesus initiates, which is a historical approximation of the Kingdom of God on earth. Here we have two approaches: the redemptive and inclusive approach of Jesus and the exclusive and judgmental approach of the Jews. What kind of approach and mind-set do we have? Do we look down on others thinking they are inferior to us? Let the famous speech of the Late Martin Luther King Jr. reverberate within us: “I have a dream that a day will come when our sons and daughters will be judged by the content of their character not by the color of their skin.”
Lord, enable us to be builders of an inclusive community.
Thought for the Day
: Are we able to go beyond ethnic and caste barriers in our journey of faith?
Rev. Dr. K. A. Abraham