“Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them” (Acts 8:5).

For Jewish and Samaritan followers of Jesus, the gospel brought with it a radical change of heart and mind, a willingness to set aside a centuries’ old racial and political conflict. Philip’s journey to Samaria was the only solution to irreconcilable differences. Hearts were miraculously changed hearts on both sides of the fence, and the fence itself was miraculously removed. For the Jewish believers, it was an acknowledgement that the Samaritans were just as beloved as they were and part of God’s eternal plan. They were no longer to be considered half-breeds, and polluters of the Holy Land. For the Samaritans, it was a willingness to accept a larger biblical canon (the Prophets and the Writings), and to acknowledge the truth that “salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).

In a world so politically divided, let us cling with all our might to the only message that has the power to tear down fences and turn our enemies into “mishpacha” (family).

“But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike” (Acts 8:12).

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