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What are You Avoiding?

Samaria is bordered by Galilee to the north and Judea to the south. The first century historian Josephus set the Mediterranean Sea as Samaria’s boundary to the west, and the Jordan River as its limit to the east. This defined region is consistent with the biblical allotments of the tribe of Ephraim and the western half of Manasseh in the Old Testament. The Jews avoided Samaria because they had become a mixed race with Gentiles and centered their worship at Mount Gerizim rather than Jerusalem. 

He left Judea and returned to Galilee. It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria, John 4:3-4.

While Jesus’ disciples walked around Samaria, Jesus felt it was necessary to go straight through. The remainder of John 4 reveals Jesus’ divine appointment. Using Jacob’s well as a meeting point, it was a matter of time before the locals traveling to retrieve water would arrive. This sets the stage for a conversation with a woman who struggled with commitment. After a series of failed marriages, Jesus changes the subject from water to spiritual matters. In a matter of moments, a spiritual hunger is conceived within this woman’s heart. A spark that would soon transform her life.

And in doing so, He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon), John 4:5-6.

Whenever you avoid someone or something, you miss out on the opportunity to alter another person’s life. If you are led by fear to walk away from conflict, you’re missing out on a potential blessing from God. Meanwhile, if you’re running away from God’s calling like one Old Testament prophet, Jonah 1:2-4, you’ll make things harder on yourself. Instead of wasting months, years or decades of your life walking in the wilderness, consider it a pure joy when you’re forced to endure, face and overcome trials and tribulations in your life, James 1:2-4.

by Jay Mankus

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