“Now he had to go through Samaria.”
John 4:4 (NIV)
Yesterday I explained in the devotional that someone in Judea, the southern province of the nation of Israel, could travel through Samaria on a direct route to the northern province of Galilee. I also explained why Jews of the time would avoid doing that and take a longer route to arrive at their destination.
Yet John uses the expression that Jesus “had to” travel that despised route to go back to His home area. So there was something of a divine compulsion to the journey Jesus took. I believe that Jesus had determined He must see that particular woman and take her from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of God.
In other words, because God had ordained that this specific woman was to be converted (Ephesians 1:3-5, 11), Jesus “must” have an interview with her. This is how we explain the difference between what is physically possible for Jesus to do and what He must do to complete His work.
Jesus planned to meet the woman at the specific time He did as she would be alone at the well. The other women from her village did not come to the well to get water at the time Jesus stopped and rested beside Jacob’s well, the place the woman came to for water.
The lady came to the well knowing she would avoid her neighbours who undoubtedly would despise her for her sinful lifestyle if they were there at the same time. What the woman did not know that day, was that she would meet a Man Who would tell her everything about her life. Also, she did not know, but soon found out, that Jesus was the Messiah of promise.
It is wonderful to see in this story that Jesus comes alongside people with problems. In fact, God uses our suffering as a way of getting us to have private times with Him through prayer, the reading of Scripture, and meditation on the person of Jesus.
Your issues in life may be very different from those of this woman, but you certainly have your own way of suffering. Do you not see how hopeful your circumstances may be? God uses situations we cannot handle to draw us near to Himself.
In other words the Lord wishes you to bring all of your pain and suffering to Him and ask for His help. As we read in 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Just as Jesus had to stop at that well and speak to the woman, so He stops at your home today and has a message for you. Take time to listen and hear His words of comfort, pray to Him and ask for strength for today. He will hear and He will answer.