In the Midst of Failed Relationships & Messianic Hope the Messiah Appears

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses thirty-nine through fifty-four of the fourth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John drawing to a close. As you come to this place within the chapter you will notice the apostle John concluding his remarks com earning the Samaritan woman whims Jesus met at the well in the city of Sychad and transitioning to a very brief statement concerning Jesus not returning unto His hometown of Nazareth. The statement which was made by the apostle John concerning a prophet not being without honor except in his hometown is actually not the first time such a statement was made within the gospels. If you read the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find it written and recorded how Jesus Himself declares these words having gone to His hometown of Nazareth and taught in their synagogue and being rejected by His own people. Immediately following the words written by the apostle John concerning a prophet not being without honor except in their own hometown we find Jesus returning to Cana of Galilee where He had previously turned water into wine. It would be in the region of Galilee where Jesus would be approached by a certain ruler within that region who came unto Him in a desperate place as his son was home lying on his bed and on the verge of death. Within the finals set of verses within this fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John you will find it written—not only concerning the men of the city of Sychad in Samaria, but also concerning the certain ruler whom Jesus encountered having returned to Galilee upon leaving Judaea. Everything we find and everything we read in this particular passage of scripture deals specifically and exclusively with Jesus in Sychar in the region of Samaria, as well as in a place outside of Judaea called Galilee. In fact, the entire fourth chapter is set against the backdrop of Jesus leaving Judaea having become aware of the fact that the Pharisees heard that He made and baptized more disciples than John the Baptist. The apostle John goes on to write and declare that it actually wasn’t Jesus who baptized any one during those days, but it was actually His disciples. When the Pharisees heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John the Baptist Jesus became aware of such knowledge and sought to leave Judaea in order that He might come unto Galilee which was removed from the place where He had been staying.

If you take a step back and look at this chapter as a whole—with all the moving pieces and moving parts—you will find that it is actually quite interesting and astonishing what is written concerning Jesus the Christ leaving Judaea and journeying unto Galilee. What’s more, is that within this chapter you will not only find it written how Jesus left Judaea upon hearing that the Pharisees heard that He made and baptized mire disciples than John, He must needs pass through Samaria. On His way to Galilee Jesus felt compelled, pressed and urged within Himself to journey through Samaria in order that He might engage Himself in a very specific encounter there within that particular region. What is even more yelling and even more remarkable is when you think about and consider the fact that Jesus left the place where He was—a place of great fruitfulness and ministry—in order that He might journey to the place of Galilee. Even more than this, we find that Jesus left Judaea where she made and baptized disciples and came unto a very specific city within the region of Samaria. This is actually quite remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for what you find within this point during the ministry of Jesus is His leaving a place of fruitfulness and abundance in ministry, and journeying to a place where Jews typically and historically would not even think about and consider. If you think about it, it almost seems absurd that Jesus would leave that place where He was baptizing and making more disciples than John the Baptist, and would journey again to Galilee. When Jesus heard how the Pharisees had become aware that He was baptizing and making more disciples than John the Baptist, you will find that rather than remaining In that place Jesus chose to leave that place in order that He might return again unto Galilee. It was while on His way to Galilee that Jesus needed to pass through Samaria. What is truly captivating is that while the apostle John writes and speaks about Jesus needing to pass through Samaria, he would go on to write how rather than merely passing through Samaria, Jesus chose to come unto the city of Sychar, and sit down at a very specific well within that city. While it might be true they Jesus intended on passing through Sychar, the apostle John actually writes and records how Jesus entered into the city of Sychar, and being wearied from His journey chose to sit down by a well while His disciples went into the city to buy meat. Please don’t miss and lose sight of the significance of this reality, for while on the surface it might seem and appear that Jesus would have merely passed through Samaria, He actually stopped within the city and sat down by a well.

As if sit here this morning I can’t help but think that Jesus deliberately and intentionally sent the disciples into the city to buy meat in order that He might be alone at the well where He would sit and rest from the journey. It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider the fact that Jesus was wearied from the journey, and how He sent His disciples into the city in order that they might buy meat. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus was always very deliberate and intentional with His actions and with His words, and when He sent the disciples into the city to purchase meat, He sought to remain and abide alone there at the well. Perhaps Jesus instructed His disciples to go into the city to buy meat and told and spoke unto them that He would remain in that place sitting by Jacobs well. Perhaps Jesus spoke unto His disciples how He was tired and weary from the journey, and that He was going to remain behind there at the well. Scripture isn’t clear and it doesn’t declare what exactly Jesus said and spoke unto the disciples, but what we do know from that which the apostle John wrote was that Jesus was weary from the journey from Judaea, and chose to remain at the well while His disciples went into the city to buy meat. Now, there is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus deliberately and intentionally sent the disciples into the city to buy meat so He could remain and abide alone there at the well. We can deduce and safely conclude from this passage that Jesus knew exactly what time of the day it was, and that He even knew that this single Samaritan woman would make her way to the well in order that she might draw water from the well in order that she might fill her water pot and return home. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus wasn’t already aware of the fact that this woman regularly made her way to this well in order that she might draw water so she could fill her water pot and return home. I do not believe for one second that Jesus wasn’t very much aware of the fact that this woman regularly made her way to the well, and regularly drew water from the midst of it in order that she might fill her water pot and return home. I would dare suggest that this women thought and perceived that this day was just like any other day, and made her way to the well not expecting or anticipating a single thing. I do not believe for one moment that this woman woke up on this particular morning and thought that she would have an encounter with the messiah there at the well. I do not believe for a single moment that this women woke up on this particular day and felt anything different from what she had felt previously, and certainly didn’t know that the messiah would be there at the well waiting for her. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that when this woman left her house on this particular morning, the messiah would be waiting for her there at the well.

Before moving any further into this particular reality concerning Jesus choosing to sit down at Jacob’s well within the city of Sychar, I would like to take a moment and consider the fact that when the apostle John wrote concerning Jesus leaving Judaea in order that He might depart unto Galilee, he wrote that Jesus must needs go through Samaria on His way to Galilee. Now, on the surface of this passage one would get the strong impression that Jesus needed simply to pass through Samaria on His way to the region of Galilee, and yet as you read the words which are written and recorded within this passage you will find that there appears to be more than meets the eye with Jesus’ need to pass through Samaria. As you read the words which are written and found within this passage of Scripture you will find that while on the surface it appears that Jesus merely needed to pass through Samaria, He actually knew that the whole reason and purpose for His passing through Samaria was in order that He might find and encounter this single woman at the well there in Sychar. What’s even more telling about that which we find concerning this passage is that within this passage—not only do we find Jesus choosing to sit down by this well in the city of Sychar, but once the men of the city heard the report of the woman and came out unto Jesus, they implored and begged Him that he might abide and remain with them. The apostle John would go on to write how upon hearing their petition and their entreaty for Him to remain and abide with them, Jesus chose to abide and remain with them for two more days. Please don’t miss the incredible significance and importance of these words, for while on the surface it might seem like Jesus sought merely to pass through Samaria, He actually chose to remain within that city for two full days after having encounter the woman at the well, after the woman returned to the men of the city and proclaimed unto them a man who had told her ever thing she had ever done, and after the men of the city came out to see and to meet Jesus. What the apostle John initially suggested at Jesus simply passing through Samaria while traveling and journeying on His way to Galilee would eventually and ultimately turn into Jesus abiding and remaining with the people of Sychar in Samaria for two full days. As I sit here and consider this reality this morning I can’t help but think within my heart and mind that Jesus was fully aware of what could have potentially taken place there by Jacob’s well, and was very much aware of the fact that this woman would make her way to the well on this particular day. There is not a doubt in my mind that Jesus knew when He was passing through Samaria, and He knew when He chose to sit down by that well that this woman would come to the well in order that she might draw forth water from the well. I do not believe for one moment that Jesus wasn’t very much aware of the fact that on this particular day and at this particular time this woman would make her way from her home within the city in order that she might come to the well where she could draw forth water from the well.

LEAVING THE MINISTRY OF JUDAEA FOR THE WELL SAMARIA! What so amazes and impresses me about the words which we find written in this passage of Scripture is that this chapter begins and opens up with the apostle John writing how the Pharisees heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John the Baptist, and how when Jesus knew the Pharisees knowledge concerning His interactions with men, He departed from that place in order that He might make his way to Judaea. What’s more, is that within this passage—not only do we find Jesus departing from Judaea in order that he might make His way unto Galilee, but we also find Jesus needing to pass through the region of Samaria. Originally the apostle John makes absolutely no mention of why Jesus needed to pass through Samaria while traveling and making His way to Galilee, however, a careful reading of this passage will bring the reader face to face with the awesome and incredible fact that Jesus needed to pass through Samaria in order that He might come to this particular well, in this particular place, at this particular time of the day, in order that he might wait for this particular women who would come to the well. I find it absolutely wonderful and incredible to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus departed from Judaea in order that He might make His way to Galilee, He needed to pass through Samaria, for He knew and was very much aware of this woman who was present within the city. What’s more, is that as you read the words which are found and contained within this passage you will find that Jesus seemed to leave Judaea where He was making and baptizing disciples in order that he might not only journey into the region of Galilee, but also in order that He might pass through Samaria. What’s more is that when Jesus departed from that place where He was making and baptizing more disciples than John, He deliberately and intentionally chose to pass through Samaria in order that He might enter into its midst with the express intention of making disciples within that particular region. Pause for a moment and consider this reality, for when you read the words which are found within the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, you will find that the Samaritan woman recognized that Jesus was a Jew and was taken back at and by the fact that Jesus being a Jew would even talk and speak with her. During their interaction, this woman would even declare unto Jesus concerning the Jews and how they didn’t have any interaction or communication with the Samaritans—a reality which sheds an even greater deal of light on to the fact that Jesus would leave that place where He was making and baptizing more disciples than John, in order that he might come unto a place where Jews perhaps were not welcome, and unto a place where Jews typically would not enter into.

Please don’t miss the incredible and wonderful significance of what we find within this passage of Scripture, for as you read the words which are found and contained within it you get the strong sense that Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to leave that place where He was making and baptizing disciples in order that He might make His way and journey unto a place that was largely and widely ostracized and marginalized by the Jews. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that Jesus would leave a place of popularity and fame in order that He might make His way unto a place of relative and seemingly insignificance and obscurity. Consider the fact that Jesus deliberately and intentionally chose to leave a wonderful place of ministry in order that He might make His way through a place of relative obscurity and even unimportance to the Jewish people. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that Jesus would deliberately and intentionally chose to leave the place of wonderful ministry in order that He might travel and journey to a place where very few Jews would themselves journey and travel. When Jesus chose to leave that place of fruitfulness in ministry, He would choose to leave and make His way unto a place where very few—if any—Jews would make their way to. When Jesus left Judaea where He was baptizing and making more disciples than John the Baptist, He chose to depart unto Galilee, however, while journeying toward and unto Galilee, Jesus needed to pass through Samaria. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about the fact that while it is true that Jesus left that place where He was baptizing and making more disciples than John, He deliberately and intentionally chose to come unto a place where Jews would not even think about traveling to—much less choosing to remain and abide there. It’s quite remarkable and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus left that place where He made and baptized more disciples than John, He chose to come to a place where the Jews would not even think about and consider. It was true that Jesus sought to make His way unto Galilee, and it was true that Jesus would do a wonderful work in Galilee, however, it was also true that before Jesus would come unto Galilee, He would first need to pass through Samaria—a place of disdain within the hearts and minds of the Jewish people. Jesus left the place of making and baptizing more disciples than John in order that He might come unto a place of disdain, for it was in that particular place where Jesus would seek to make disciples of those whom the Jewish people would disdain, ostracize, marginalize and reject. It’s worth noting that even though Jesus left Judaea where He was making and baptizing disciples, He didn’t leave that place and stop making disciples. We don’t read of Jesus baptizing disciples in Sychar in Samaria, but we do read of Jesus making disciples there in the region of Samaria—beginning with this single woman at the well. We read of Jesus leaving Judaea where he was making and baptizing more disciples than John, and yet rather than ceasing making disciples, we find Jesus journeying unto Samaria where He would continue making disciples—disciples of and disciples from the ostracized and marginalized people.

MAKING DISCIPLES OF THE OSTRACIZED! MAKING DISCIPLES OF THE MARGINALIZED! MAKING DISCIPLES OF THE REJECTED! MAKING DISCIPLES OF THE IGNORED! How incredible wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus left Judaea—that place where He was making and baptizing more disciples than John—He chose to journey unto Galilee and pass through Samaria where He would continue His ministry of making disciples. If there is one thing we must recognize and understand concerning this particular passage of Scripture, it’s that Jesus didn’t leave Judaea—a place where He was making and baptizing disciples—and ceased making disciples. The apostle John writes and records how Jesus left Judaea in order that He might journey unto Galilee, and yet pass through Samaria where He would seek to make disciples from the ostracized, marginalized and rejected. In all reality, it would have been very easy for Jesus to remain in Judaea baptizing and making disciples in that place, however, what we find is Jesus departing from Judaea in order that He might make disciples of those whom the Jews would despise and reject. It was true that Jesus would journey unto Galilee where He would be a light that would shine and pierce through the darkness, however, before Jesus would journey to Galilee, He would first make His way unto and through Samaria, in order that He might reveal and manifest Himself unto those whom the Jews had no dealings, and those whom the Jews would despise and reject. When Jesus departed from the region of Judaea in order that He might make His way unto Galilee, He deliberately and intentionally chose to make His way unto a place where most Jews would not think about traveling through—much less stopping to speak with and interact with the people therein. The apostle John wrote how Jesus needed to pass through Samaria, however, what we find within this passage is Jesus doing more than simply passing through Samaria, but actually choosing to interact with a lowly woman who would come to the well to draw water so she could fill up her water pt and return home. I absolutely love that not only did Jesus need to pass through Samaria in order that He might make His way to this well by this specific time in order that He might encounter this woman, but He also sent His disciples into the city to buy meat in order that He might be left alone at the well so He could speak with this woman alone in private. In all reality, it almost seems that Jesus sought a private audience with this woman in order that He might draw from the well that was present within her heart and soul. Jesus deliberately and intentionally came unto this well in Samaria in order that he might encounter this lowly woman at the well so He could have a personal and private audience that He might make of her a disciple.

Building upon this reality even more, there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if Jesus did not choose to pass through Samaria and enter into this particular city for there was present within the city a Messianic hope and expectation. The more I read and consider the words which are written and recorded within this chapter found within the gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus written by John, the more I can’t help but be gripped and captivated by the fact that not only was there within the heart of this woman a messianic hope and expectation, but there was also within the hearts and souls of those within the city a Messianic hope and expectation. BRINGING THE MESSIANIC HOPE TO THE OSTRACIZED! BRINGING THE MESSIANIC HOPE TO THE MARGINALIZED! BRINGING THE MESSIANIC HOPE TO THE NEGLECTED AND IGNORED! I sit here this. Morning and I can’t help but think within my heart and mind that Jesus needed to pass through Samaria, and needed to come to this particular city within Samaria in order that He might reveal Himself as the Messiah to those who were looking for and anticipating the coming of the Messiah. As you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you get the strong sense that the entire reason and purpose Jesus sought to pass through Samaria, and the entire reason He chose to come to this particular city within Samaria was not only to make disciples, but also to manifest and reveal Himself to those who were looking for and expecting the Messiah. Despite the fact that Samaritans were marginalized and ostracized by the Jews, there were those in Samaria who were living and moving with a wonderful and powerful sense of Messianic hope and expectation. I firmly believe that the entire reason Jesus sought to pass through Samaria and to come unto this particular city was in order that He might come unto a people who were eagerly waiting and hoping for the Messiah. Reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will come face to face with the fact that there were those within Samaria who were spending their days and living their lives anxiously waiting for, and earnestly longing for the Messiah to arrive and reveal Himself unto them. The words which the Samaritan woman spoke unto Jesus suggest the wonderful and tremendous reality that she herself was living with a strong sense of Messianic hope and expectation, and was eagerly and earnestly waiting for the Messiah. There is not a doubt in my mind that when you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will come face to face with the reality that this woman—despite the fact that she had been with five different men as husbands, and was now with one who wasn’t her husband—lived with and spent her days with the Messianic expectation and hope. I do not believe for one minute that this woman was not spending her days seeking and searching for something, and at the very heart and center of it all was awaiting the Messiah who was to come. I firmly believe that when Jesus came to Jacob’s well on this particular day, He did so in order that He might reveal and manifest Himself unto one who was eagerly and earnestly waiting for the Messiah to come.

You might ask yourself why Jesus would choose to journey to a place where Jews would not have any dealings, and unto a place where Jews would not normally travel, and yet when you read the words found within this passage of Scripture, you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that Jesus came to this particular place, for He was very much aware of the Messianic hope and expectation. Despite the fact that the Samaritans were ostracized and marginalized by the Jews, and despite the fact that they were regarded as half-breeds, there were those present within Samaria who were eagerly longing for and anxiously waiting for the Messiah to manifest Himself. The more I read and the more I consider the words which are found within this passage, the more I can’t help but come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that Jesus chose not only to pass through Samaria, but also to abide with them for two days because there was a wonderful sense of the Messianic expectation present within this city. What’s more, is that I can’t help but wonder how long the people within this city were living with the Messianic hope and expectation before this generation came upon the earth and the Messiah would actually appear and manifest Himself in their midst. How long had the residents and people within the city of Sychar lived with and spent their days anxiously waiting for the Messianic hope and expectation? How many years and how many generations had the people of Sychar lived with the Messianic hope and expectation before this generation emerged upon the earth and the Messiah would appear among them in their midst? I absolutely love what I find in the fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John, for the words which the woman spoke in the hearing of Jesus the Christ seemed to indicate that she herself was living with a Messianic hope and expectation. In fact, if you turn and direct your attention to the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter you will find the woman speaking unto Jesus just before she departed from the well in order that she might return unto the men of the city and proclaim unto them what had taken place at the well. Consider if you will the words which are found in the twenty-fifth verse of this chapter: “The woman saith unto Him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things” (John 4:25). The words which the woman spoke unto Jesus there at the well suggested the awesome and wonderful reality that she was in fact and was indeed living with a Messianic hope and expectation and was eagerly and earnestly waiting for the Messiah. Perhaps the Messianic hope and expectation had been passed down through generations, and this woman knew and understood that there would come a day when the Messiah would come and appear, and would manifest Himself among them in their midst. Little did this woman know when she woke up this morning that she would make her way to the same well she journeyed to countless times before, and there at the well the Messiah whom she had heard about would be waiting for her to arrive.

You cannot convinced me that the entire reason and purpose Jesus chose to pass through Samaria, and the entire reason Jesus chose to come unto this city of Sychar was to reveal and manifest Himself unto those who were living with a Messianic hope and expectation. You will not be able to change my mind that the entire reason Jesus chose to pass through Samaria, and to abide within this city of Sychar was so He could reveal and manifest Himself unto those who had been eagerly waiting for and anxiously longing for the Messiah to appear and manifest Himself. I firmly believe with everything in me that Jesus chose to come unto this place within Samaria because He sought to reveal and manifest Himself unto those who were living with a Messianic hope and expectation in their hearts and souls. Jesus knew and understood that there was a people in Samaria—perhaps the only city within Samaria—that were living with a Messianic hope and expectation, and in response to that anticipation and expectation, Jesus chose to make His way through Samaria, and chose to come unto this particular city in order that he might reveal and make Himself known. It’s actually quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that when this woman spoke unto Jesus about the Messiah coming, which is called the Christ, Jesus responded unto her by emphatically declaring that He who spoke with her was the One she was waiting for, and the one she longed for. How truly astonishing it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman was living with a Messianic expectation and anticipation—regardless of and despite the fact that she had spent a considerable amount of time searching for earthly and temporary things through five different marriages. Is it possible that despite the fact that this woman was searching for something which she hoped she would find in five different marriages, and now the relationship she was in, and yet she didn’t realize and/or recognize that what she was searching for was the Messiah? It is clear from the interaction this woman had with Jesus that she was very much aware of the Messiah which was called the Christ who would come, and yet even in light of the knowledge that there would come the Messiah, this woman would spend her days seeking to satisfy the deepest longing and desires within her heart and soul with earthly relationships—relationships which clearly proved to be inconsistent and not last. This woman had had five husbands, and the man whom she was now with was not her husband, thus revealing the fact that this woman had spent a considerable amount of time living under the shadow of broken relationships and failed relationships. ON this particular day, however, this woman would not find another man similar to those she had married and lived with, nor the one she was presently with, but would find the Messiah Himself. Despite the fact that this woman had lived with and experienced a number of broken relationships and marriages, she would come to the well on this particular day and would experience the Messiah whom she had heard stories about, and whom she might very well have been anxiously and eagerly waiting for herself. This woman had suffered and experienced countless relationships falling apart and ending within her life, and yet on this particular day she found herself coming face to face with the Messiah whom she had heard stories of from others within that city.

WHEN JESUS MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS! WHEN JESUS MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF REJECTION! How absolutely remarkable and wonderful it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman was a product of five failed relationships, and five broken marriages, and yet on this particular day she would find that which she had been searching for all along. Little did this woman know, and little was she aware that that which she was looking for the whole time would be waiting for her at the well on this particular day when she would make herself to it to draw water from the midst of it. I absolutely love the fact that Jesus chose to manifest Himself—not only in the midst of broken and failed relationships, but also in the midst of a Messianic hope and expectation. WHEN JESUS MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS AND A MESSIANIC HOPE! Pause and consider how absolutely remarkable and wonderful it is that not only did and would Jesus manifest Himself in the midst of this woman’s life—a life that had experienced countless broken and failed relationships, but a life that was spent being aware of the reality that the Messiah called the Christ would come and manifest Himself at some point. Oh how wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman would experience five different failed relationships, and five different broken marriages, and yet on this particular day she would find herself face to face with the Messiah—the one whom she had heard countless stories and accounts of. What a wonderful and powerful testimony it is to think about and consider how despite this woman experiencing five failed and broken marriages and relationships, she would ultimately find herself coming face to face with and encountering the Messiah who was called the Christ. After five broken marriages and after five failed attempts at covenant and commitment, this woman would find herself speaking with and face to face with the ultimate expression of love, commitment and covenant. Oh that we would read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and would understand the awesome and wonderful reality that Jesus can and Jesus does in fact desire to manifest Himself in the midst of broken and failed relationships, and does in fact seek to redeem a history of broken and fragmented relationships by revealing and manifesting Himself before and unto us. Oh that we would allow ourselves to come face to face with the One who is not only willing to make haste to wait for us, but the one who is willing to manifest Himself despite our broken and failed relationships, and in light of our knowledge that there is a Messiah who is called the Christ who can and will speak to us and show us all things.

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