“And He must needs go through Samaria. The cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there …” (John 4:4-6a).
I love how pointed verse four is written. “… He must needs go through Samaria.” Jesus felt a deep need to go through Samaria. Not many other Jewish Rabbi’s would have felt this need at all. In fact, most of them would not have thought about setting one foot inside Samaria. If you look carefully at these verses, you will see that Jesus was compelled to go through Samaria … to Sychar … to Jacob’s well. He took a very specific route to a very specific place, for a very specific woman. He went that way because there was a woman there that no other person on the earth might have thought to approach with the Gospel.
I noticed a great contrast to what Jesus felt compelled to do and what His disciples felt compelled to do. “For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat” 4:8. I worry that I am too much like the disciples in this story and not nearly enough like Jesus. I am afraid that I like to take the easy route rather than the most important. I wonder how many people I have passed while they stood by a “well” hoping that someone would care for their soul … I wonder how many times I have missed open opportunities to make an eternal difference in a person’s life, but I was too consumed with things that are temporal?
The thought that warmed my heart today was that Jesus knew exactly where this woman would be, and He made a “bee-line” straight for her. He entered Samaria … took the street leading to Sychar … found the parcel of ground that Jacob had given to Joseph … and finally arrived at Jacob’s well. He knew that He would meet a woman who had been married five times and was struggling with her bad reputation. He knew that she would be a woman without hope … unless she trusted Him for forgiveness.
This thought touches my heart, because He came to the United States … to the state of Pennsylvania … to Valley Forge … to the first floor apartment of my family, and saved my soul. I too was destined for Hell. I too would have lived a life full of frustration and defeat. I too would have had a horrible reputation, and would have been without hope. But, He came for me! He must needs go through Valley Forge, PA for me! He came right into my parents’ bedroom as I knelt to pray and saved me from my sin! I love Him, and am thankful that He knew my address!