Summary: 2 of ? Jesus bore witness of His Messianic identity to a religious woman who was reluctant to believe. How/When will God’s people turn the reluctancy of the religious? Turning religious reluctance God’s way requires...
TURNING RELIGIOUS RELUCTANCE-II—John 4:1-42
Turning the Religious Lost
Everybody has a religion—right or wrong!...Everybody has a belief system to which they subscribe—right or wrong. Even atheists have a religion & are religious people.
These may be Reluctant to turn, But by the power of God, they are turnable nonetheless!
*We are all called to serve God in spirit & in truth!
Jesus divulged/bore witness of/ His Messianic identity to a reluctant/hesitant but religious woman.
God’s people bear witness of Messiah’s/Jesus’ identity to reluctant religious people.
How/When will God’s people turn the reluctancy of the religious?
OR--What will turn that religious reluctancy around?
16 insights toward turning religious reluctance to God.
The last time we looked in these verses we found that,
Turning religious reluctance God’s way requires...
1. SERVICE Insight(:1-3)
2—Turning religious reluctance to God’s way requires...
:4—“But He needed to go through Samaria.”
During different exilic periods(~722 BC-~538 BC) the land of Samaria had been intentionally ‘re-populated’ especially by the Assyrians & later, by the Babylonians. These moved pagans from various lands which they had conquered, into Samarian territory(which they had also conquered), while simultaneously repopulating other areas with the Jews from the northern kingdom of Israel. “The upper class[of Israel] & those in power were deported to assure the crippling of the state.”—ISBE(’Captivity’).
Due to the Samarian region’s re-population(s) there was a consequent ‘re-seeding’ of the area with various influences from the multiple belief systems from elsewhere...
As a result, “The Samaritans opposed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem(Neh. 4:1-2)” & “in Maccabean times[intertestamental], they accepted the Hellinization[Greek-ification] of their religion” by dedicating “their temple on Mount Gerizim to Zeus Xenios.”—EBC(M.C. Tenney)
In response to their apprehension by the Jews, the Samaritans “developed counter restrictive policies” toward the Jews. These included a “Samaritan Pentateuch” & “a competing temple cult on Mount Gerazim.”—NAC
In Jesus’ day, the Roman territory of Samaria had it’s capital city of the same name.
Under Roman influence, the region of Samaria encompassed an area roughly from the western edge of the Jordan (~between the Harod/Jezreel River to opposite the Jabbock) diagonally to the Mediterranean coastline(encompassing Carmel). It’s southern edge ran from near Jericho(east--at the Jordan), to near Lydda(west--at the Mediterranean).
Samaria was an area which devout Jews avoided,(particularly the legalistic Pharisees).
In order to avoid passing thru Samarian territory, the Jews(who were concerned about maintaining personal purity, i.e. Pharisees)(traveling north) would typically cross to the eastern side of the Jordan at Jericho, head north along the eastern edge of the Jordan(thru Perea & Decapolis) & re-cross the Jordan near Beth-shean/Scythopolis into Galilee & on the return trip, vice-versa.
In order to reach Galilee, Jesus “needed” or “had to go through” the area known as “Samaria.”
Technically, Jesus was not physically ‘forced’ to go through Samaria, & it absolutely was the most direct route to Galilee.
His ministry & circumstances(possibly) pressed Him to intentionally & willingly enter it by the Spirit!
Probably, He looked upon it with a great degree of positive anticipation, though He would later send His disciples to minister not in the lands of the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only among the lost sheep of Israel(Mat. 10:5-6).
Mat. 10:5-6—“These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
“As the Savior of all men, Jesus “had to” confront the smoldering suspicion & enmity between Jew & Samaritan by ministering to His enemies.”—EBC(M.C. Tenney)
Also, if there was any concern that the Pharisees might be ‘hot on Jesus’ trail’—after all, He did leave Jerusalem for Galilee because “all were coming to Him”(3:26; 4:1)—then they would have been cut off from Him due to their undue concern for purity in avoiding the Samaritans.
“Needed/Must Needs”(See :20—“Ought”; 24—“Must”)—dei—Imperfect X(no tense/voice—assumed Present tense & Active voice) Indicative—1) It is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right & proper. Dei seems to be more suggestive of moral obligation, denoting especially that constrain which arises from divine appointment. Dei, the third person of dew, is commonly used impersonally in classical Greek. This usage is less common, but frequent, in the N.T. Dei indicates a necessity in the nature of things rather than a personal obligation; it describes that which must be done. Strong—used impersonally; It is(was, etc.) necessary(as binding).
“Go”—diercomai—Verb—1) To go through, pass through—1a) To go, walk, journey, pass through a place, 1b) To travel the road which leads through a place, go, pass, travel through a region; 2) To go different places—2a) of people--To go abroad, 2b) of a report--To spread, go abroad. Strong—To traverse(literally).?From—dia—Through, With, In, Throughout, During, By, the means of; The ground or reason by which something is or is not done; On account of, Therefore. Strong—a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; Through.—&—ercomai—1) To come; 2) metaph.—2a) To come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence, 2b) Be established, become known, to come(fall) into or unto; 3) To go, to follow one. Ercomai denotes motion or progress generally, & of any sort, hence to “come” & arrive at, as well as “to go.”