He had to go through Samaria… (John 4:4)
After Jesus came out of the wilderness and was baptized, He started on His way to Galilee, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to start His ministry. God had given him the destination and his assignment; but there was one thing, he HAD to go through Samaria.
I love the implication. I feel an urgency, an importance, a determination unknown to anyone around. I remember the morning the Lord showed me where I was headed and what we would be doing together. I was excited and scared, but I set out, determined! However, the only place I had on my mind was the final destination. I wasn’t concerned with how I was getting there. I wasn’t thinking about what, or who, would be along the way. I only had eyes on what God showed me to be the end result. But not Jesus. He understood there was ministry waiting for Him to accomplish IN Galilee, but He also took note of the ministry that needed to be accomplished ALONG the way to Galilee.
Hmmmm…Has God shown you what you are specifically and uniquely created for? Have you caught a glimpse of where you will end up? Isn’t it exciting? Once we know where to go, isn’t it all about getting there as quickly as possible? But how much have we missed along the way? What have we missed en route to where God is taking us that we will desperately need once we arrive? More importantly, who have we skipped over, or pushed out of the way, because we saw them as a deterrent, an interruption, rather than a part of the overall mission to where we are going? My LORD! I can’t imagine what I have missed! It would be easy for me to become entangled in that thought, or to want to go back and gather up all the lessons, or people, that I missed. But I’m SO THANKFUL God can, and will, restore what is lost and will still fulfill His promises even when I miss it! it’s because of who HE IS not because of what I’ve done or not done! Bless His Holy Name!
Jesus HAD to go THROUGH Samaria, a place the Jews avoided because they hated the Samaritans, for no other reason than because they were a “mixed race, part Samaritan and part Jew”*. No other reason. When the Jews traveled north to Galilee they did everything they could to avoid Samaria, even though that meant it would take a lot longer to reach Galilee. Going through Samaria was the shortest route, but hate won out. Thank God with Jesus, love wins every single time.
Not only did Jesus walk through the center of a hated people, he stopped and talked to a woman. Not just any woman, and not a crowd of women, ONE woman. LOVE crossed all cultural and gender boundaries man had set, to encounter ONE woman. Jesus wasn’t interested in drawing the crowds, or a large audience in an auditorium to connect, He went out of His way to connect with ONE, then another ONE, then another ONE. He didn’t even ask the disciples to stay around, or wait until they returned from getting something to eat. He sat down at the well, exhausted from the journey, waiting. Waiting for ONE sinful, Samaritan woman He was set on sharing His love with.
This entire scene just makes me weep. Just ONE! If you were the only ONE, Jesus would have come out of His way, just for you, just for me!
Let these two things just do it for you: (1) Let it cause you to slow down and realize the joy is in the journey, salvation for so many is in the journey, not the destination; and (2) most of all, let this overwhelm your heart and show you how very valuable and precious you are to Him.
Father THANK YOU for sending your Son to save us all! Thank you that if it were just me, that He still would have come. It was just for me. It was for just ONE!
HOLY IS YOUR NAME!
*Warren W. Wiersbe. 1989. The Bible Exposition Commentary: Matthew - Galatians. Colorado Springs, CO: David Cook Publishing.