Hey, hey! I am Sarah Bowling, welcome to God Today. I am super stoked to hang out with you. I want to talk a little bit about Us and Them. What does Us and Them mean? Well, if you think about life, we have a lot of Us and Them. In our thoughts, in our perspectives.
For example, I was playing pickleball with some of my friends and they are very good, but I am not very good. I remember when I was a little girl, I always wanted to be popular and athletic, but I never fit in. So there were the cool kids and I felt kind of on the fringe, on the outsides. There was this idea in my head of Us and Them. As I am an adult now, I still see that paradigm kind of influencing my perspective. So, like my friends I play pickleball with, they are all amazing and incredible, and phenomenal. And I get to play with the cool kids.
But, I want to talk to you because it is not just Us and Them in terms of athletic stuff. We also have this idea sometimes of Us and Them with education. Some of us have tremendous degrees and we are very intellectual. Some of us are not. And we might have dropped out of High School. We have this idea of Us and Them with money. The rich people and the poor people. We have this idea of Us and Them as it relates to race. Huh. That is a big issue. Whether you are white, Black, or Asian. We have this idea, this grid, this filter of Us and Them. It can be in gender. The idea of there is masculine and there is feminine.
We have lots of ideas of Us and Them, but Jesus came to talk and speak into Us and Them and bring transformation. When you think about Jesus in doing Us and Them, one of the first conversations you see where it Us and Them is a Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. You can tell she has Us an Them in her thinking because Jesus says, “Can you give me a drink of water?” And she says to Him, “How is it that you, a Jew, would ask for water from me, a Samaritan woman?” Her Us and Them is a Jew and a Samaritan. So, that is going to be ethnicity as well as religion. Religion can be us and them. It can be Muslim, it can be Buddhist, it can be Christian, it can be Hindu. We have this whole Us and Them, but Jesus steps into it. Hers wasn’t only religion, wasn’t only ethnicity, hers also was gender. A Jewish man speaking to me, a Samaritan woman. Jesus steps into that grid, Us and Them. What He does is through the conversation, Jesus starts to connect us so that it is We and not separation.
Jesus’ goal for you and me is not separation, distinction, contrasts, and diversity, and all that in terms of conflict and tension. But actually. Jesus’ design for each one of us is to be We with Jesus and complementary with each other. We don’t compete, we don’t have conflicts in all this diversity but rather compliments. That my strengths and your strengths are not conflicting with each other. Your identity, your ethnicity doesn’t conflict with mine, your educational upbringing, or lack of is not a conflict for me or you, but it is we. Because Jesus is the unifying, ground zero, core, driving relationship in our lives. And the love of Jesus compels us.
You see Jesus’ love for this woman. This woman at the well. It is so powerful because the dialogue between the two of them – Jesus doesn’t just blow her off and say, “Hey, zip it, give me some water.” He says, “Hey! If you knew who was asking for a drink of water, you would ask Him, and I would give you living water.” This conversation starts to go deeper, and deeper, and deeper. And that is Jesus’ heart for you – to have a deep conversation and really speak down to the core of who you are because that is exactly where this conversation finished with this lady. He says to her at the end of the conversation, “Go and call your husband.” She suddenly goes mute because she is like, “I have no husband.” He says, “You are right. You have had 5 husbands and this guy you are with now is not your husband.” 6 dudes! 6! Five failed relationships, that is the deepest pain in her heart, all of these continuous failures, after failure, after failure in her marriages, and in her relationships.
What happens is, a lot of times Us and Them comes from the idea that we have pain in our hearts from previous experience. Jesus wants to speak into that and heal that by telling you who He really is. Because the true identity of Jesus as the Author and Perfecter of your soul, as a person who loves you more than anybody else, His true identity – she says that to Him, “We know when the Messiah comes, He will reveal all things.” And He says to her, “I who speak with you am He.”
The deepest pain meeting the real identity of Jesus breaks down Us and Them and creates We with Jesus. And that’s His heart for you. Not having all this dissension and conflict, but rather being one with Christ and being transformed in our hearts and our thoughts and our minds so that we bring the love of God not only in our own hearts but in our relationships in the world around us. Thanks so much for watching God Today. I am Sarah Bowling, fantastic to hang out with you. Thanks!