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Jesus: Our Everlasting


Joy: He Knows and Loves the Broken

Tuesday, December 19 | by Dr. Jon Choi

Today's Reading

John 4:1-42

John states that Jesus had to go through Samaria after leaving Judea. There were two main routes from Judea to Galilee. Why did Jesus "have to" go through Samaria? Although going through Samaria was considerably shorter, most Jews took the longer route through Jordan to avoid contact with the Samaritans (the Jews hated the Samaritans). Only those who were in a hurry took the shorter route.

Jesus did not choose to go through Samaria because He was in a hurry; it was for the purpose of ministering to the Samaritan woman. In fact, Jesus ended up staying two days in Samaria, talking to many people in that town. To Christ, ministering to a person whose life was broken was more important than the customary restrictions.

Notice the description of the Samaritan woman. Although her name is not mentioned, we do know that she was married five times (John 4:18). Was she an immoral or loose woman? During that time, women had no right or power to divorce their husbands. That means that she was rejected five times. And the man she was living with was not her husband. Perhaps she did not want to go through the pain of rejection ever again. Perhaps the man that she was living with was taking advantage of her. What does that say about her? She probably had many emotional wounds and damages, weighed down with shame, rejection, guilt, hurt, and pain. She probably didn't want to deal with people gossiping about her.

From the fact that the Samaritan woman came alone to draw water, we can guess what kind of social life she had. Normally, women went to the well in groups to draw water early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the scorching heat. The well was a social hangout place for women. To the Samaritan woman, however, the well was her place of escape from reality. That's why she chose to go to the well at noon, the time she knew that no one would be there. Apparently, she was an outcast. She didn't have a community.

Jesus timed it perfectly so that He could meet the Samaritan woman alone at the well. Is Jesus that precise? Is Jesus that caring? Absolutely!

But that's when she encountered Jesus. Jesus timed it perfectly so that He could meet the Samaritan woman alone at the well. Is Jesus that precise? Is Jesus that caring? Absolutely! Whenever we feel lonely, afraid, hurt, or rejected, Jesus is right there, wanting to minister to us. Jesus will never turn away anyone who comes to Him with a broken heart. He is our only hope, and that hope brings us true joy, a joy we cannot keep to ourselves – just like the Samaritan woman who went and told everyone else what had happened.

Many more Samaritans came that day to meet Jesus. "They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this Man really is the Savior of the world'."

Who do you know that needs to meet Jesus this Christmas season?

Dr. Jon Choi serves as the Director for the Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Worship Studies programs at Dallas Baptist University.

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