“Now He had to go through Samaria”

As we continue our study of the Gospel of John, we pick up at Chapter 4, verse 1.  Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Apostle writes:

“Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that He was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John – although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but His disciples.  So He left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.  Now He had to go through Samaria.”  John 4: 1-4
Someone, perhaps one His disciples, told Jesus the Pharisees were talking about the fact that He was becoming more popular than John the Baptist.  The Pharisees and Religious Leaders were not concerned about John, but they certainly were about Jesus.  They did not like the fact that Jesus had cleared the Temple of animals, and money changers, had upset their money making schemes, and how much people loved to hear Him teach.  This Guy was trouble for them.  But, Jesus had some things He wanted to do, and a lot of people to touch before it was time to really take on the Pharisees, so He decided to move on, and He headed back to Galilee.  To get to Galilee He chose to go through Samaria.
Although this was the shortest route, most Jews tried to avoid going through Samaria because they simply did not like each other.  The Jews in the Southern Kingdom that was called Judea, were very prejudiced toward the Jews in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. This was because when Israel split, and Judea went its way, the Northern Kingdom had war and  fell to Assyria.  Many of the Northern Jews were deported to Assyria, and many Assyrians were sent to Israel to control the area they had conquered.  This resulted in intermarriage.  The Jews in Judea felt the Jews that married the Assyrians had betrayed their heritage, and were now a mixed race called Samaritans.  The Jews felt the Samaritans were impure, and refused to accept them.  The relationship between the North and the South was gone for all practical purposes at that time.
But, Jesus had some business in Samaria, and He had to go there.  He needed to tell them the Good News, and He had no prejudice toward the Samaritans, or any race that would prevent that.
So it must be for us.  May there never be a hesitation toward anyone or any place about sharing the Good News.  May the Good News be the bridge over prejudice of any kind.  May we realize we are all one in Christ Jesus.  All who believe in Him are baptized by the Holy Spirit into becoming a part of His body.  How can we be prejudiced against ourselves – we cannot.  May we love ourselves for who God has made us to be in Christ Jesus, and love our neighbors as ourselves.
Blessings and love to you, and yours, God’s Beloveds.  May you walk in perfect health, and the divine wealth of wisdom and grace, and the fullness of His  love.
Poppa B.

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