The most outstanding feature of the ministry of Jesus is his priority for people and especially the priority he had for reaching those whom others tried to exclude –sick people, children, women, ethnic minorities (particularly the Samaritans), disreputable and tax collectors included.
This week we see how this was powerfully reflected in the ministry of the apostles as the persecution of the early church led to their work being extended even to places like Samaria!
We see how they ministered with clear authority and wisdom, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. No doubt their earlier training experience when Jesus had sent them out in two’s to heal and preach would have stood them in good stead.
We need to ask some questions of ourselves:
How do we see Jesus’ ministry priorities reflected in the work of the apostles in Samaria?
Who are our ‘Samaritans’ today, and how can we be more effective in ministering to them?
What can we learn from the way the apostles used the experience of violent persecution as an opportunity to extend the work of Jesus to Samaria?
What can we learn from the way in which the apostles went about their work in Samaria?
How can we ensure that our own life and work is ‘Spirit Filled’ – what might prevent this from being the case?