“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
When we board an aircraft for a flight we see different people, different races, cultures, beliefs. Before starting the journey, none of the passengers will inquire about the religious belief or ethnic affiliation of the pilots and crew, talk less of other passengers. Prejudice in this case will not change the decision to take the journey.
Why is it then that prejudice stands as a barrier between us and important steps we can take in our life.
One of the greatest hindrances to harmonious relationship is prejudice. If we handle our differences with others the way Jesus did, all the barriers of prejudice will be broken. Let us learn from Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4.
The first obstacle Jesus faced was the barrier of prejudice. Jesus wanted to reveal Himself but there was a problem: prejudice. Jesus did not start by saying “I am the Messiah.” He first had to bring her to conviction. The truth can only settle in our heart at the point of conviction. So, Jesus had to start the conversation from the natural point of view. He knew that if she can believe the natural, she would be able to see the connection between the natural and the spiritual. This is the main reason Jesus used parables. To see that connection, it takes spiritual perception or insight.
The woman came to seek natural water. That is the angle Jesus used to introduce the conversation. Jesus crossed the barrier first and said, “Give me a drink”. Why do we look for water? To satisfy the need of thirst. Then Jesus said to her, “Whoever drinks this water will thirst again but he who drinks the water I give will never thirst.” That triggered the woman’s attention and interest in Jesus’ words, and she said, “Give me that water.” What kind of water was Jesus referring to? A water that brings a permanent solution to thirst is not ordinary water. That water needs to be discerned and taken spiritually. The spiritual eyes and understanding of the woman needed to be opened first. The same God who opened the eyes of Hagar to see the well that saved her life is the same God who opened the spiritual eyes and understanding of the Samaritan woman to discern the real well from which the living water will flow.
Jesus’ insight into her heart revealed the very problems of her life and the woman was surprised to hear the secrets of her heart being unveiled. Her focus changed. she saw in Jesus a prophet, a spiritual person. The woman told Jesus the only person who could open her eyes was the Messiah she had been waiting for “I know the Messiah is coming and when He comes, he will tell us all things.” (John 4:25)
Then Jesus, seeing that she paid attention, revealed to her “I am He”; I am the Messiah.
The revelation removed the veil of prejudice, spiritual understanding came, and she was convinced in her heart.
Ask the Holy Spirit to remove the veil of human prejudice in your heart so you can see things from Christ’s perspective.