“Now He had to go through Samaria.” John 4:4
One of my favorite accounts in the Bible is that of Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman. It is such a beautiful illustration of the Gospel—of who Jesus is and of the power of His transforming love.
As I have been studying the passage, one specific verse has stood out among all the others—John 4:4, “Now He had to go through Samaria.”
I don’t really think of Jesus having to do anything…I mean He is all powerful God after all. But the wording of the verse is clear—He had to go. Other translations say it was necessary for Him to go through Samaria.
But here’s the interesting thing….the Jews back then would have done anything to not go through Samaria. They would have gone miles out of their way to avoid passing through that city. There was such prejudice from the Jews against the Samaritans, that the area was avoided at all costs. Yet, Jesus purposefully and confidently set His face to Samaria. He had to go.
Because He had an appointment to keep. Jesus, the Author and Creator of life, went to make Himself available to a woman—a woman who was just going about her very ordinary day.
Can’t you just picture the scene: Jesus, tired and dusty from His journey, is sitting at a well. The passage says He was tired, yet I still picture Him with love-filled eyes alert to all around Him. Approaching the well is a woman—tired and dusty from her trek to the well. I imagine her being distracted with her daily to-do list.
Consumed in her thoughts, she looks up surprised to find a man sitting at her destination. Her surprise surely turns to shock as He speaks to her, asking for a drink of water.
The Creator of the world, God in human flesh, asks her—an outcast, a nobody, for a drink of water. The Savior turned His face toward this woman and engaged her in conversation! He had an appointment with her that day. She didn’t know it, others in her community didn’t know it, but God knew it and He went in pursuit of her.
Let that truth sink in: God went in pursuit of her.
I had never really though about my testimony like that before. There once was a day when Jesus sat by a well and waited for me. My Creator, the King of the Universe, went in search of me. He had to go and engage my heart in conversation. There was an evening many years ago when Love’s eyes looked on me and beckoned me to come and drink from His Living Water.
What a beautiful picture of the transforming love of God—that He goes in search of us, that He waits for us, and that He invites us—sinners—to drink from His well of truth and love.
Oh that we would all sit at His well today and drink deeply!