11 July 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: John 4:1-6 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. (John 4:1–6 NLT)
Jesus and John were both preaching in Judea for a while after Passover. John kept sending his disciples over to Jesus, saying, “He’s the One to follow from here on. It’s time for him to increase and for me to decrease!” When Jesus heard that the Pharisees were keeping track of who was doing more baptisms and making more disciples, he said to his followers, “Hey guys, we’re out of here! This isn’t a competition!” So he headed back towards home in Galilee.
Jesus had to go through Samaria on the way to Galilee. This becomes significant when you realize that not every Jew, especially religious Jews, had to “go through Samaria” to get to Galilee. In fact, the Jews despised the “half-breed” Samaritans, descended from mixed marriages between Jews and foreigners who the conquering Assyrians had settled in the land a few centuries earlier. So instead of “going through Samaria,” most Jews went up the east side of the Jordan River to avoid contact with Samaritans, adding a day or two to their journey. Jesus didn’t despise foreigners, or mixed-race people. Jesus didn’t despise anyone!
Jesus was tired! While his disciples (Andrew, Peter, Philip, and Nathanael at this time) went into the village of Sychar to pick up some “to go” sandwiches, Jesus sat wearily beside Jacob’s Well, just outside the village. Don’t forget that the Son of God, who takes away the sin of the world, is also the Son of Man, who gets tired and thirsty after a long morning’s walk in the early summer sun. I can’t help but think that the Son of God had something more important than lunch in mind. If you know what I mean!
No competition. (We’re on the same team). We don’t despise Samaritans. (Or whoever it is in our world that’s different from us. Jesus came to save them too!)
Father, Please help us with our tendency to compete, and our mistaken idea that we’re better than some other folks. Cleanse our hearts and purify our thoughts. Amen!