Daily D – John 4:4
He had to travel through Samaria.
JOHN 4:4 (CSB)
G. Campbell Morgan wrote, The Great Physician. It is a rich tapestry of chapters detailing Jesus’ encounters with individuals during his earthly ministry. Although I cannot locate this book in my home library to verify my recollection, I remember Morgan emphasizing the second word in the sentence above: had.
The King James Version uses the word must. This shifts the storyline ever so slightly and emphatically meaningfully. Jesus had to go through Samaria. Jesus must go through Samaria.
To be clear, this was not the only pathway back to Galilee from Judea. Many Jews of Jesus’ day avoided these Samaritan villages for reasons of longstanding religious and political prejudice. Jesus, however, was keeping a schedule that no one but our Father in heaven was privy.
Jesus had to be in Samaria. Jesus had to be at that well. Jesus had to be alone to meet a woman, a woman many have mislabeled and mischaracterized and misunderstood for centuries.
John told us in 1:1-5 that Jesus is eternal and that he is inextinguishable light and imperishable life. He also tells us in verse 14 that, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Jesus arrived precisely where he intended to be precisely when he intended to be there. It was noon. It was summertime. It was hot. Having walked a long and dusty path to that location, he was thirsty.
Jacob had given that parcel of land to Joseph (Genesis 48). He told him that he had won it in a battle with the Amorites. The well there is the product of a deep underground stream that continually flows. Fresh, cool water was available in abundance. Joseph’s bones had been transported back to this area from Egypt for burial. Here were Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, the mountains of blessing and cursing from Deuteronomy 27. This was also the location of a synagogue where the scrolls of the Samaritan Pentateuch were located.
Here was a woman who held the key that would unlock a community.
- Jesus is always where he needs to be when he needs to be there.
- Jesus is always on time; never early, never late.
- Jesus in his humanity had a need that Jesus in his divinity had already provided.
- Jesus makes time for those we would not give the time of day.
- Jesus often uses the most unlikely of characters to reach farther and more effectively than the most qualified but uninterested.
Do you remember that time when Jesus had to be where you were to offer you his gift of eternal life? Celebrate that moment. If you have not experienced such an encounter, please know that this could be that moment. He is right where you are. He is ready to give you what only he can provide. He is ready to draw you into a relationship with himself that is real, loving, and unending.
Jesus said his mission was to seek and to save the lost. He has to offer you his gift of life. He must draw you to himself. He is not forced to do so against his will. He does so because he wants you to know him and experience him in growing peace and endless delight. He does so because our every thirst is quenched with his living water. He does so because our every hunger is satisfied with his food to eat you and I would never know otherwise. He does so because he loves you as you are, and he loves you for who you will become by his grace and in his strength.
Jesus had to meet you today. He has a gift to give you. Will you receive it?
I will receive what Jesus offers whenever he offers it.
Our Father, thank you for meeting us where we are. Thank you for loving me Just As I Am. Thank you for loving us so much that you enrich our lives with your mercy, grace, strength, and hope. May we always join you in being in the right place at the right time to accomplish your purpose Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”