175 – John 4 – Why Samaria?

Do you know the story of the Samaritan woman at the well, in John chapter four? 

John 4:4

      4       But He needed to go through Samaria.


I’m gonna trust you to read the first four verses of John chapter four. If you do, you’ll understand that the antecedent for “He” in verse four is Jesus. Jesus needed to go through Samaria. 

Have I run out of interesting Bible verses to talk about? What could we learn from this simple, straight forward verse? Why stop to consider it? Is there any way we could misunderstand this simple statement? I mean who cares, right?

Ok, stick with me. Let’s look at the previous verse. 

John 4:3

      3       He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 


If you were to look on a map, you would see that Jesus did not have to go through Samaria in order to get to Galilee. But as any casual observer can see verse four is clear, Jesus needed to go through Samaria.

I’ve read all of chapter four many times and the author never explains what he said in verse four. I think he just expects us to understand as we absorb the events he outlined for us. It should be plain to us, “yep, Jesus needed to go through Samaria”!

Jesus needed to go through Samaria because He knew He had a very important appointment to keep. He knew He would be weary from His trip, He knew He would sit down on a well. Jesus also knew there would be a Samaritan woman He must engage in conversation.

The thing is, he didn’t ride a donkey into the Samaritan city with people declaring His kingship. He just sat down and said, “give me a drink”. All kinds of super brainy people will tell you something like Jesus used the request for a drink of water as a conversational hook. He made her curious and sort of drew her into a deeper conversation with the shocking statement, “give me a drink”.

But is it possible He meant what He said? GIVE ME A DRINK! By the way, before I go any further there is no evidence in this passage He ever did get His drink. So what am I talking about?

Remember the Kindom rewards in Matthew chapter twenty-five?

Matthew 25:35

      35       for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 

 Matthew 25:37

37       “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink


How did Jesus answer them?

Matthew 25:34-35

      34       Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 

           35       for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 

Matthew 25:40

40       And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’


Do you think I’m stretching it to make a connection? Eh, maybe. But I think Jesus always has more in mind for us than we recognize at the moment. Yes, Jesus saw this woman come to faith in Himself. As a result, she and many people in her town were eternally saved! What I’m suggesting is Jesus not only saved her, but He made her a disciple or follower of His. She communicated and demonstrated the love of God to others. What about you?

Salvation is all about what God does and offers to us as a free gift. Discipleship or walking with Jesus is about our efforts to subject ourselves to Him. Salvation His effort, the Christian life our effort.

So, why Samaria? Did it matter where Jesus went? 

Does it matter where we go, what conversations we have with others?


All Scripture quotations from The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.


1 Reply to "175 - John 4 - Why Samaria?"

  • Phyllis Hanson
    August 23, 2020 (8:28 pm)

    Challenging, Mark!

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