"And he must needs go through Samaria." (John 4:4)
Here's a little history lesson. After King Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was divided by a civil war. Remember, Israel was comprised of twelve tribes. When Solomon died, ten of the tribes went after idols, and only two remained faithful to God. They were Judah and Benjamin.
Jerusalem remained the capital of the two southern tribes, but Samaria became the capital of the ten tribes to the north.
The ten tribes that worshiped idols became a cesspool of toxic behavioral patterns. The citizens worshipped two gold calves, Baal (a mer-man nature god), and Ashtoreth (a female goddess of erotica).
Consequently, the Samaritans became some of the most immoral and ethnically diverse people in the region. They were no longer "Jewish".
So, the Jews that lived in Judah and Benjamin despised the Samaritans. They would not even go through Samaria when they travelled! It was a racially-charged enmity that developed between the two regions.
But, Jesus felt the "need" to travel through Samaria! That is who Jesus is! He came to save people from all walks of life, and from all degrees of sinfulness. No matter how awful you have been, if you will turn to Jesus, He will save you!
In Samaria, Jesus stopped at Jacob's well. (v. 6)
At noon time, a Samaritan woman came to the well. (v. 6-7) She came at noon because she was certain that none of the other women would be there at that time. She was a woman that had made a lot of poor decisions in her life. She was so bad, that even the Samaritan women treated her like dirt! So, she came to the well when she could avoid their harsh criticisms and judgments.
I wonder if she was having a particularly bad day, that day? Maybe she was in a toxic relationship, at the time. She may have been physically or verbally abused, that day? Perhaps, her mother was sick, or a teen-aged child was making her life sorrowful? Did she pray, that morning, asking God to send her some encouragement, or some help?
Her day was about to get better, because Jesus was waiting for her at that well, to talk to her! (v. 7)
She was amazed that Jesus spoke to her! "...How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." (v. 9) She knew that there was a lot of racial tension between the Jews and the Samaritans!
Oh, but when Jesus spoke to her, she felt loved, and fell in love with her Savior!
This poor soul. She had married five times, and was currently living with a man that she was not married unto. (v. 17-18) The only reason we know that is because Jesus knew that about her, and tells us about it.
Here's the thing, Christ did not come into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved by faith in Him as their Savior. (John 3:17)
No one cared about this woman, except Jesus! That is the reason that He "...must needs go through Samaria". He went there to save this woman from her sin!
She ran back to town! The very town that was full of people that criticized and judged her, so harshly. She went to town to tell them about the Man she met at the well, that day! (v. 28-29)
This man knew that she was a Samaritan, and He knew all of her faults, but loved her, anyway. Love truly is blind!
Racism has always been a problem on this earth. And, you will never make it go away, without Jesus! Our politicians, and activist groups, think that you can get rid of racism by simply passing laws, screaming at the top of their lungs, or rioting in the streets of American cities.
No sir! If there is any chance whatsoever of getting rid of racism, it is through Christ!
Jesus loved the unlovable, and forgave the unforgivable. Jesus is our inspiration to do the same.
From my heart to your heart.