John 4:1-26; 1 Chronicles 15:1-16:6; Zechariah 4
There are many things that Jesus did that shocked the sensibilities of the Pharisees. Their understanding of the Law was ripped to pieces as Jesus opened it up and revealed new meaning and understanding. Sometimes, though, He shocked everyone, including His disciples. “He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.” (John 4:3-4) That doesn’t seem shocking at first. Read it again: Jesus NEEDED to go through Samaria? No good Jew needed to go through Samaria. No bad Jew would go through Samaria. A Jewish mother looking at her child could always say, “At least you’re not a Samaritan.” A Jew walking through Samaria would be like an Aggie walking through Austin; like a member of the Crimson Tide traveling through Auburn; like a Yale Bulldog traveling to Boston. Samaria was to be avoided at all costs! Jews, even not so good ones, would cross the Jordan, walk on the east side of the Jordan until they got past Samaria and then cross back over the Jordan to avoid going through Samaria – yet the Bible says that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. Take a deep breath and think about that. Jesus needed to go through Samaria – but it wasn’t for traveling ease or expediency. Jesus needed to go through Samaria because there was a woman who needed His touch. His disciples not only needed to go through Samaria with Him, but they also had to go into the city to buy food while Jesus sat on the outskirts of town to meet this woman. She was not the queen of Samaria, she was of such a low reputation that she had to go and get water in the heat of the day when no one else was around. There are times in our lives when we need to go through our own Samaria. God sends us on detours that we would never take. Often we fret and complain. We look around nervously as we leave our comfort zone and go through those areas we would prefer to avoid. How often do we fail to see the people that God sent us through Samaria for? What would happen if, instead of worrying and fretting about where God sent us, we opened our hearts and our spirits to see who God wanted us to meet – to minister to. If the story were written today, it might have been put like this: “I don’t always travel through Samaria; but when I do, I find the person My Father wants me to minister to. I’m the most interesting Savior of the World.”
Oh Lord, how easy it is to stay in my comfort zone, in my ruts that have become so familiar. Take me out of my comfort zone and send me to Samaria. Help me to see the person who needs Your love and minister to them in Your name. Let me be obedient to Your call.