Sermon Quotes: "The Gospel Reaches the Despised"

“God says that history is important, and it should therefore be important to us. In the Bible, God commands his people to pay attention to what happened in the past. He tells us to remember the past, to learn from it, and to tell the next generations about it…The gospel, the good news, announces events that happened in the past, in the death and resurrection of Christ. It is about events, events in history…God commands us to pay attention to history. History is indispensable in the Bible and in the Christian faith…When we are united to Christ by faith, we are incorporated into the stream of the history of the people of God…Their history is part of our history.” Vern Poythress

“No one but God would write this script.” Brian Vickers

“Jews and Samaritans were bitter enemies, and this was no passing antipathy…By the time of Jesus, the Samaritans were despised as unfaithful, defecting half-breeds. Indeed for nationalistic Jews, Samaritans were worse than Gentiles. The hatred was mutual.” Bruce Milne

“It is hard for us to conceive the boldness of the step Philip took in preaching the gospel to Samaritans.” John Stott

“It was a moment of significant advance, which was also fraught with great peril. What would happen now? Would the long-standing rift be perpetuated? The gospel had been welcomed by the Samaritans, but would the Samaritans be welcomed by the Jews? Or would there be separate factions of Jewish Christians and Samaritan Christians in the church of Jesus Christ? Is it not reasonable to suggest (in view of this historical background) that, in order to avoid just such a disaster, God deliberately withheld the Spirit from these Samaritan converts? An unprecedented situation demanded quite exceptional methods…Henceforth, Jews and Samaritans were to be admitted into the Christian community without distinction. There was one body because there was one Spirit.” John Stott

“The first temptation that the Christians faced, as they moved into Samaritan territory, was to distort the gospel to be about power, and to preach Jesus not as the crucified one but as a means to powerful results. Just as in Jerusalem, the scandal was the cross.” Chris Green

“The manipulative behavior of Simon had the potential to lead the Samaritans back into false religion, but now with a Christian veneer.” David Peterson

“While this section is chock-full of human endeavor and human responses, the real story is of His divine initiative, and His decisive intervention. The growth, expansion, and the opening of new frontiers in the story of the church are always His before ours, and ours only because already, and always, His. That is the glory of this passage and its perennial significance. For here we find ourselves within earshot of the throbbing heartbeat of God as He yearns for a world that has turned its back upon Him, and we sense again His irresistible determination in spite of that, ‘to take from the nations a people for himself’ (15:14)-including from among the despised and vilified Samaritans, and all their present-day cousins and equivalents.” Bruce Milne