There are usually many of places I have to go in any given day. I usually go to work. Sometimes I have to put gas in the truck. There’s always somewhere I need to visit to stock-up on something. It seems, for every place I go… there’s a reason. I’m rarely just out wandering around.
I get the impression that Jesus was like this too. When He started walking, He usually had a reason… and a purpose.
There’s an interesting statement at the beginning of the fourth chapter of John that has always caught my eye. It says that Jesus “had to pass through Samaria”.
I’ve read several theories as to why people think He “had to” travel that road. History tells us that most Jews chose to travel a different route from Jerusalem to Galilee. The Jews and Samaritans had several long-standing theological disagreements that had caused separation… but for some reason Jesus chose to engage instead of ignore.
Jesus met a woman in Samaria. Most readers surmise that the Samaritan woman was terribly lost that day. While she well knew her way to the town’s source of water, it seems clear she had not been able to find all she was looking for in life.
In the end we know this woman, and many in her village, believe Jesus is the Promised Messiah. My question is… what was this woman’s spiritual condition prior to Jesus’ arrival? Was she really an unbelieving soul that Jesus converted that day… or could she have been a “true believer” from the wrong side of the tracks?
I suspect she was not as spiritually lost as many conclude. The fact that she wasn’t a Jew… shouldn’t automatically exclude her from being a believer in God’s promises. Continue reading