The post yesterday moved me to think about the methods that Jesus employed in reaching people. A perfect example is the woman in John 4. This was a teaching moment for the disciples and it should be for us. If we take the analogy we saw yesterday of the waffle, there was a section of the waffle called Samaria that did not have the message of “living water” and “eternal life.”
On Jesus’ itinerary was a return trip from Judea to Galilee. For most Jews at the time, they had great distain for Samaritans and if they were making this same journey, they would either cross the Jordon and travel up the east side of the Jordon River, or go all the way out to the coastal road. Either route took longer, but they could avoid people they wanted nothing to do with.
Jesus heads right up the center of Samaria through the town of Sychar. Notice how John phrases this trip; “He had to pass through Samaria” (John 4:4). The word “had” (dei) gives the connotation of “must, or a necessity as being under compulsion” and is used five other times in John (3:14; 9:4; 10:16; 12:34; 20:9). Jesus felt compelled to “pass through Samaria.” Where did this intense feeling come from? Jesus was always conscious of doing the Father’s will. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (John 6:38).
What unreached people would hear the liberating news of freedom through salvation in Jesus Christ if you and I would stop taking the long road and start sensing the divine compulsion from God to reach someone or some people that no one else cares about or purposely avoids? There are about 7,000 such people groups, so there is plenty of opportunity. The number is not the point. The issue we each face is whether we feel a divine “must.”
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