Free to be intentional - 29 April 2021
By Xanthe Hancox
The Pharisees heard that Jesus was winning and baptizing more disciples than John. (Actually, Jesus himself did not baptize anyone; only his disciples did.) So when Jesus heard what was being said, he left Judea and went back to Galilee; on his way there he had to go through Samaria.
Jesus’s decision to go through Samaria was an unusual one. When John says he had to go that way, he doesn’t mean there was no other route. It was the shortest, most direct route to Galilee but the Pharisees preferred the longer road through Perea, to avoid contact with the country and people of Samaria.
But Jesus, intentionally, went through Samaria.
He knew he had a job to do. He had to go outside of the expected cultural and traditional norms to offer grace and eternal life to a Samaritan woman, who then shared the good news with her entire town (see John 4:27-32).
Living in the freedom of the resurrection allows us to be intentional. Jesus’ death and resurrection restored our relationship with God and welcomes us to a place of full communion with him.
In communion with God, we pray and listen to the Holy Spirit, who gives us renewal and strength to go out and live intentionally, as Christ did. We are to submit to one another and offer acceptance and grace to everyone, including people outside our normal comfort zones—even those who might be our enemies.
Today, may the freedom and grace offered to you in Jesus empower you to freely offer the same to others.
Prayer: Jesus, we are grateful that you intentionally took on human flesh and came to live with us. May we follow your example and be free to love as you have loved us. Amen