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The Day Jesus Crossed the Line, Part 1

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Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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TEXT: John 4:1-10 

Alexander MacLaren said, "The Samaritan woman is a fascinating character. She is of mature age, and has had a not altogether reputable past. She is frivolous, ready to talk with strangers, with a tongue quick to turn grave things into jests; and yet she possesses, hidden beneath masses of unclean vanities, a conscience and a yearning for something better than she has." 

The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman is one of the most interesting encounters in Scripture, and perhaps even in history. It resonates with us today because it touches on many aspects of life that impact society and culture in the modern world. However, for this historic meeting to take place, Jesus had to cross several lines that would have been forbidden to him as a first century Jewish religious leader. 

Following up on the events of John chapter 3, the Gospel writer tells us that Jesus left Judea because He wanted to avoid a conflict with the Pharisees who had heard about His ministry of baptism. Jesus was not running away from conflict, but He was working on a divine timetable. He would have plenty of run-ins with the Pharisees later. Now, Jesus was on his way to Galilee, but the text tells us that "He must needs go through Samaria." And that is where Jesus crosses a first line in His mission to reach the Samaritans with the Gospel message.

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