As I continued to think about my heroes I thought about how heroes are people who make the people around them better. They challenge us ... they inspire us ... they lead us by going out front and showing us the way. This is how Jesus led.
If you remember, Jesus talked a lot about the Samaritans. They were a leftover, half-breed group who was left behind after the Assyrians (721BC) hauled away everyone of importance from the northern Kingdom of Israel. John Wayne would have said, "they weren't worth killin!" So they were left behind, hated by the "real" Jews and a pariah in the society of Jesus' time. Jews that lived in Galilee would travel on the east side of the Jordan for an extra two-days just to avoid the Samaritans. It is thought that Mary and Joseph's journey went straight through Samaritan country, a possible testament to the lack of Samaritan prejudice in Jesus' upbringing.
One day Jesus defies a number of the social mores of 1st Century Judaism as he meets a Samaritan woman at a well. He is showing and telling. He shows by 1) conversing with a woman, 2) conversing with a woman living in sin, 3) asking her to draw water from the well for Him, 4) through the power of this conversation, sending her out to retell this story to others. He tells by 1) telling her the story of her life, 2) telling her the connected history of the place they are meeting (He connects her to the Jews who hate her), 3) he tells her about true worship (in Spirit and Truth) and 4) he tells her that he, as a prophet, knows about one as lowly as she is. The end result of this conversation is that the woman goes (she has become missional), she shares (she has become an evangelist) and she brings people to Jesus (she has become one who connects others to Jesus).
Is Jesus leading you? Are you going, sharing and bringing people to Him? If a 1st century Samaritan woman can do it, maybe we can! If He is your hero, maybe you should respond! Just a thought. Randy