March 15, 2016: Day 72 – John 4

The Samaritan woman at the well gives us so many insights into who Jesus is.  We hear that Jesus’ popularity is taking hold and so he is forced to leave Judea, and travel north to Galilee.  Look at the map below and you will get an idea of what was all involved in that journey.

Judea and Galilee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you can see that Jerusalem is firmly ensconced in Judea, right above the Dead Sea on the left or Western side.  As you make your way north toward Galilee you can see Sychar on the map.  There were ways to get around Samaria either on the Sea route or inland, but it would have made the voyage so much longer.  The journey from Judea to Galilee was always considered a very dangerous journey.  You remember the story of the Good Samaritan?  Well the Jewish man was beaten along that same route.  

Samaria was not considered a friendly land for the Jews, but the road had to be taken.  Jesus stops right in the middle of the land, which was unusual and he is there at noon, at the heat of the day.  Not a normal time to stop and take a break, normally you would want to push through at this time.  But what was even more strange was a woman going to the well at noon.  This was the worst time of the day and it was assumed that no one else was going to be at the well at that time.  This is crucial.  She assumed that she would be at the well by herself, and that was the way that she wanted it to be.  Except Jesus was there.  He planned to be there so that he could minister to her even as she was asked for water in vs.7.  

Isn’t that what Jesus does, though?  He meets us right where we are, often on our own home turf and addresses our need, even when we aren’t too sure what our needs might be.  The woman is amazed and wonders if this might be the Messiah.  She becomes the first foreign evangelist bringing the men of the village to come and see.  It reminds me that Jesus has always used men and women to bring about the declaration of his Gospel message.  

So for the first time in these 72 days this post is a day late.  I hope it has nothing to do with the coincidence of the beginning of March Madness.  

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