Everything about this story is wrong. Jesus shouldn’t have even been talking to this woman. First, Jesus is a man and she is a woman. Jewish thought at the time was beyond patriarchal. Considering women lesser life forms, Jewish men would even pray thanking God that they were not women. Second, she is a Samaritan. Most Jews did everything they could to avoid even crossing through Samaria. Third, there was a moral barrier. Jesus knew that she had blown through five marriages and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. The Jewish ceremonial cleansing laws would never have allowed Jesus to talk to this woman much less share a jar of water with her.
Prejudice simply means to pre-judge. We do this all the time. Jesus was able to move past the cultural barriers and not pre-judge. He engages the woman at the well human being to human being. As God’s people, we should strive to treat others the way Jesus did. We should see and treat people as the human beings they are rather than the cultural barriers between us.
Think of the cultural barriers that surround you. They could be political, economic, racial or generational. Think about the people around you and consider the relationships, or potential relationships, where there are cultural barriers. Write down one way you can follow Christ’s example of breaking barriers with one person in your life.