By Patrick Hawthorne
For all of John chapter 4 please click here…
In part 1 we learned that the Jews and the Samaritan’s had a deep loathe for one another. Because of this loathe, Jews would go out of their way to avoid contact with the Samaritans. Yet, in verse 4 we see that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. Why would that be?
Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria. (John 4:1-4 NKJV)
In today’s vernacular we throw out the word, “need,” like we throw out stale bread. “I need to go here…I need to do this…I need to do that. Many of the things that should be labeled as a want or a desire have been reclassified as a need. To the contrary, the ‘need’ written of in verse 4 is not one of a personal desire but by definition is an actual need or a necessity. In other words, it was the fulfilment of a responsibility.
Jesus did not need to go through Samaria simply to shave off time while in route to Galilee. No, His need was Godly in nature. His need was to fulfill the will of His Heavenly Father. We see this in verse 34 of the same chapter, “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work…”’
Jesus is our example. He is our guiding light to show us the manner in which we should live. Jesus is the grace written of in Titus 2:11-12 who came to this world in order to teach us how to live holy, righteously, and Godly lives in this present age. Yes, He died for us, but His main mission was to teach us how to live for Him.
Some suggest that Jesus knew in advance that He was going to meet up with the woman in Samaria. I have my doubts. From all indications, Jesus only knew that He had a divine appointment in Samaria. Beyond that, I don’t think He knew with whom.
Again, He is our example. Whatever the Holy Spirit told Jesus to do, He did. Wherever the Holy Spirit told Jesus to go, He went. He did not always know the entire plan in advanced and had to walk by faith just as He teaches us to do. I believe the same applies with this encounter.
The lesson learned is this. We may not always know the reason why we feel compelled to go somewhere or do something for the Lord, but He does. Our business is to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and obedient to His will. It is our Heavenly Father’s job to fit the puzzle pieces together.
Now, the question remains, “Why would He be sent?” Look at John 4:25. The woman said to Jesus, “I know that Messiah is coming, (who is called Christ.) “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” It appears that the Samaritan woman was watching for the coming of Messiah. I believe this divine encounter was primarily due to her attitude of expectation. We will get into more of the details of the encounter in my next post. Until then, be blessed.