John 4:1-3 “Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.”
Please read John 4:1-42, it is our focus for the next few days and we trust that God’s ancient Word will indeed impact our lives in Jesus Name. John the Beloved pin-points Jesus’ journey to us; He left Galilee and went to Cana and from Cana Jesus went to Judea. While there he knew that the Pharisees had gotten wind of His activities there and Jesus found His way back to Galilee. Please see the map of Israel at the back of the devotional for further reference. John gives us details only an eyewitness would know. Why do you think Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee? As we read through God’s Word, we must ask questions and provoke deeper revelation.
Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee because on one hand, it was not yet His time. Jesus knew that what He was doing will provoke a confrontation from the Pharisees and they were a troublesome bunch. So, He packed His bags and left before they showed up. What about all the souls that were being baptized, was Jesus afraid? Not at all, Jesus knew it was not yet His time. As the popular saying goes, ‘He that fights and runs away, lives to fight another day’. While Jesus was a baby, His parents had to escape with Jesus to Egypt for a while. It is not weakness to hide until an appointed time. What is disgusting is when your appointed time has come, and you are still hiding. You cannot still be hiding when heaven is waiting for you to show forth. However, it is important to note that there is a time to hide. My grandmother would say, ‘The child’s hand must first lay hold of the sword before he begins to inquire about who killed his father.’ Until then, the boy must run [hide] otherwise the people that killed his father will kill him too. There is a time to run and there is a time to fight.
John.4:4 “. He had to go through Samaria on the way.” (emphasis added). What usually happens is, Jews from everywhere must go to Jerusalem [in Judea] for worship. When Jews living in other places travel to Jerusalem, they go through Samaria to Judea. However, journeying back to Galilee after worship and getting purified, Jews would not want to have anything to do with Samaria after visiting their God. So, they would take a longer route towards Decapolis and across the Jordan to Galilee just to boycott Samaria. But the Bible says, “Jesus had to go through Samaria”, why? It is because there was a divine appointment with a Samaritan woman. God wanted to reach a woman and He threw away all the protocols and traditional rites of journeying and went straight. God is not a respecter of persons. God can do anything to reach you. God can break any rule to get to you. From Jesus, we learn that the direction of God is more important than the direction of tradition. To go in the direction of God is more important than going in the direction of your family. What is God’s direction for you? Your family may not agree but if that is God’s direction for you, do it even if it means going through Samaria.
Prayer: Father, help me always discern God’s direction and follow it, in Jesus Name. Amen!