Jesus is on the Father’s mission to make the way for all those who the Father has given to him to come to him in faith. Jesus is confronting the darkness with the light of the good news, and John 4 gives us a glorious glimpse into what Jesus is accomplishing and will bring to completion through the cross and resurrection.
John 4:1-6 (CSB) 1 When Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself was not baptizing, but his disciples were), 3 he left Judea and went again to Galilee. 4 He had to travel through Samaria; 5 so he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well. It was about noon.
Jesus “had” to go through Samaria. The implication here is that Jesus is on a divine mission. There were other ways to get from Judea to Galilee. The straight path is through Samaria, but he didn’t geographically “have” to go through Samaria. In fact, most Jews avoided the straight path through Samaria because, well, they were Samaritans.
No, John’s implication is that Jesus has a specific mission to accomplish, and he’s going into the place most Jews would not go. Why? Because Jesus is on the mission of securing a people from all nations given to him by the Father. Jesus “had” to go through Samaria.
As Jesus sits to rest and his disciples go to the local market to get some food, a Samaritan woman comes to get water at a most unusual time with the likely intention of avoiding other humans so she won’t have to deal with the questions and whatever else goes off in her soul.
Jesus engages in conversation and through an amazing back and forth, Jesus shows her who he is, and she runs off to tell the village that she has met someone who knows her story even though she had never met him, and wonders if Jesus could be the Messiah.
Jesus’ disciples return and he is full with the food of doing the will of the Father and teaches them that the real food and the real work is to harvest the people God is bringing from the nations.
Why did he tell them this? Because Samaritans from the woman’s village were coming out to meet Jesus, therefore, Jesus and his crew stay with the Samaritans for two more days.
Crazy thing? The people believe in Jesus because the woman introduced them to Jesus, and he convinced them powerfully about who he is. They really believed in Jesus.
Here we see Jesus’ glory, power, and a model for disciple-making that will point us to the mission he’ll send us on.
We see glory in that Jesus is walking in a kingdom reality that produces fruit. That kingdom reality is that the Father is working, and he is to seek that work out and do it even if others don’t see it.
We see power in that Jesus knows the ones the Father has given him, and therefore, he has to go after them on mission, and he powerfully persuades this woman about who he is, and she is changed into an evangelist/ambassador instantly.
We see a model for disciple-making that his cross, resurrection, and ascension will make effective for us to imitate daily.
The cross purchased and resurrection empowered model?
- There are divinely appointed places we must go to and through in order to proclaim Jesus.
- As we go on God’s mission, Jesus saves people in the dark and makes them full-fledged ambassadors immediately.
- Jesus sends new ambassadors on mission immediately. No training is required. They met the Light of the world and can now go tell others.
- Jesus welcomes all who will come to him in faith, so ambassadors invite folks to come and see the light of Jesus.
- Jesus is delighted to make his home among the nations.
THE RESURRECTION IS GOING TO SECURE THE IRON-CLAD REALITY OF THIS WORK, AND HE HAS GIVEN US A GLIMPSE OF IT IN THE MIDDLE. If the model works before the resurrection, imagine how powerful it is when lived out among Holy Spirit-filled Jesus followers after the resurrection and all its power resides in us.
We have a way to go in the journey, and there are some hard clashes with darkness ahead, but we have seen enough to know that the end is not in question. So, keep journeying on to the cross that will take us to the resurrection and a most robust mission full of joy and power.