John 4:4 states: "It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria." I just want to know why Jesus thought it necessary to go through Samaria, even though it ended up in the conversion of the Samaritan woman. Was there another reason for him to go that way? Meninwa Sandra
AMP - 4 It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria.
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For three reasons: ❶ First, it was three days closer (Josephus, Life, 52) ❷ Second, to obey divine orders so we could have this story. Third ❸ Samaritans and Jews disputed where to worship as Samaritans were not permitted in Jerusalem temple. As About 332 B. C. Sanballet, governor of Samaria under the Persians, and who opposed Israel under Nehemiah (Neh. 4:7-- Neh. 13:28), went over to the side of "Alexander the Great" who gave him permission to build a temple on Mt. Gerizim like the one in Jerusalem. So And so The great controversy between Jews and Samaritans was whether to worship on "Gerizim" or "Moriah" as Samaritan woman perceived Jesus as as a prophet and she wanted answer. Jesus gave her the real NT way of Worshiping The Lord in our hearts in Spirit anywhere. Temple or churches are made irrelevant.
"And he must needs go through Samaria." (John 4:4) I believe our Lord's need to go through Samaria went far beyond a matter of convenience. The Samaritan's were half-breeds, progeny of Babylonian/Jewish descent resulting from the Babylonian captivity. I understand they were so despised by the orthodox Jews of the time that if a Jew had the need to travel northward from Jerusalem beyond Samaria, they would take the torturous trek by Galilee rather than go through Samaria. "And he must needs go through Samaria." I believe our Savior was "....about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49); "......for I do always those things that please him." (John 8:29) In His great intercessory prayer John records: "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:1-3) "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word." (John 17:6) He was completing his mission by traveling through Samaria, saving those souls the Father had given Him!
My answer is one of highlighting THE works part IN God's purposes of sending His one and only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to be our Savior! He came to "save that which was lost"! His work and purpose was to be our Divine and Holy Savior IN the flesh. To be our teacher as well as our Holy example of how and in what manner to love our fellow man. God has promised us that "my sheep know my voice" and "my Father has promised that not one of my flock will be lost, For everyone that hears my calling will heed thusly and come unto me!" Jesus stated several times that He was "to be about doing His Father's business: "to save that which was lost"! Jesus accomplished His "in the flesh" work while here for His approximate 33 years before He proclaimed at that cruel, wicked cross at Calvary, "It is finished" and then took His last breathe and "then on the third day rose again"! ***"For God so loved the world, that He sent His one and only begotten Son to save that which was lost."*** ***"God's love is without measure!"*** ***"Place your faith IN GOD by trusting IN His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, believing IN HIM and that He loves you and will save your eternal soul for all of eternity"!*** "Jesus loves me, this I know! For the Bible tells me so! Yes, Jesus loves me...Yes, Jesus loves me...for the Bible tells me so...." (Old, classic children's Sunday school hymn). "Praise God that He provided a Savior! And, His name is Jesus Christ"! --Andy--
The verse prior to the one cited in the question (John 4:3) indicates that Jesus was going north from Judea (where Jerusalem was located) to Galilee (where Jesus and most of the apostles were from). Samaria lay between Judea to the south and Galilee to the north. (See the map at http://www.conformingtojesus.com/images/webpages/israel_at_the_time_of_jesus_christ.jpg) Despite the estrangement between Jews and Samaritans, the only way to avoid passing through Samaria when traveling from Judea to Galilee (or vice-versa) would have required a long detour across the Jordan River through Perea and the Decapolis, and then back across the Jordan again, which would have involved much more distance, time, and logistics (that is, it could not have been done just by walking). So, when the text says that it was necessary for Jesus to go through Samaria, it was not referring to a matter of a desire or need on Jesus' part to do it for some reason of His own, but a matter of practical necessity that could not be conveniently avoided.
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