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!
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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