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Daily Bible Readings

Going from Popularville to that Rough Neighborhood

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

John 4:1–6 ESV Read More

Jesus cut back on His public appearances several times. Whenever He does, it isn’t for a vacation or out of bitterness, though. Typically He takes the opportunity to get a few people, much less than the people that He was previously talking to, to grow closer to Him. He withdraws with the disciples to teach them and here, in the middle of Samaria, He is on His way to talk to an outcast that will lead Him to an entire village.

Place and time are always a big deal in the Gospel of John. If he tells you what holiday was near or what time of day it was, pay attention! Jacob’s well isn’t explicitly mentioned in the Old Testament, but we know that there are large places in this area where Jacob lived for a long time. It is certain that he would have dug a well while he lived in this region. As he lived in this region, we see the various ways he interacted with the people around him. Sometimes it worked out good, other times it was disastrous.

Now Jesus is here, and He is taking a route that most righteous Jews don’t take. He is going through land that is considered ‘unclean’ and full of questionable characters. Samaritans were people that thought they were serving the god of the Jews, but also served a lot of other idols too. Honestly, these folks are like the Christians that other Christians judge. Samaritans were rough. They weren’t in church often and didn’t believe the same things Jesus believed. They probably didn’t even know all of the books of the Bible in order or what VBS stood for.

Jesus didn’t let that stop Him. He marched right through Samaria and stopped in a very public and popular spot. He went in the middle of the day, instead of in secret, and He was ready to do whatever the Father would direct Him to do.

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Tags: evangelism, fear, grace, judgmental, mercy, mission, prejudice