February 25, 2013
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
He Must Needs
And He must needs go through Samaria
Why must He “needs go through Samaria?” Logistically, it was not necessary. It may have been the shortest route, but it was hardly the one most trodden by faithful Jews. There was an alternate route which would have served His purposes well. Yet He went through Samaria.
It was not necessary financially. Men, especially our political friends, go out of their way if it will mean added revenue in their coffers to aid in re-election. For many, every move is weighed in the balance of financial gain. But for the Savior, Samaria held no prospects for material wealth or gain. Its poverty rivaled the areas of Galilee that He frequented, and amongst which He ministered.
Perhaps some might construe the journey as serving some practical end. Would He find the food that His famished disciples needed? Would they supply Him with a “discount” on their prices, honoring Him as a tolerant Jew Who would visit Samaritans? No, He had to send His disciples away to buy bread. Think of all the other practical reasons which guide the steps of men in their travels; none is adequate as an answer. His footsteps, as always, were guided by the will of God. His “must needs” was because the Father was seeking worshipers and there was a woman and others in Samaria.
How touching that the Lord was weary and sat on the well. This is the same one of Whom it says, He “sitteth upon the circle of the earth,” and again, “the Creator fainteth not neither is weary” (Isa 40:22, 28). Again, to engage the woman, He asks for a drink of water. But Isaiah again reminds us that this is the One Who “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand” (v 12). What grace! What beauty! His journey, His weariness, His request – all were with a view of bringing a woman into blessing and being able to say, “that her iniquity is pardoned” (v 2). Every moment of His life was a rich unfolding of glories immeasurable. But to the writer, the beauty of the Man of Sychar’s well is beyond words. Little wonder that the saintly J. G. Bellett of a previous generation was heard to say upon His death bed, with rapt anticipation, “I am going to the Man of Sychar’s well.”
- Find other links with Isaiah 40 in the account of John 4.
- Notice how the Scripture speaks of Samaritans on three different occasions.
- In John 8, the Jews accused the Lord Jesus of being a Samaritan and having a demon (8:48). Notice how the Lord Jesus answered them (v 49) and the significance of what He omitted and why.