The Road Home to You Podcast
“Lessons from the Road to Samaria: A Life on Mission”
Originally aired August 7, 2018
Brandy: Hi. Welcome to The Road Home to You. I'm Brandy Goebel. Thank you for joining me today for another one of our mini episodes in our summer series that we're calling "Lessons from the Road."
It's just me again here in the recording studio sitting here all by my little lonesome so it's good to have you guys on the other side.
I'm going to just get right into this and then we'll take care of some other business at the end. Yeah, that's what we're going to do.
So we're going to talk today about a little trip that Jesus took. It starts actually in John, chapter 4. Jesus has just left Judea because it's gotten out that there's a whole lot of baptising going on and some of the Pharisees are getting a little bit antsy about all of that. There's some rumblings and threats to Jesus' safety.
So he decides that he is going to go back north to the region of Galilee. In doing so, he's got a couple of options. In fact, he's got exactly two options. He could just take the trip that's as the crow flies and that takes him through a region known as Samaria. That's all well and good, it's a shorter trip that way, the trouble is, Jews typically don't go through Samaria.
Usually, what they would do is head in a northeasterly route and go through a region called Perea. The reason why is because the Jews and the Samaritans just didn't mix a little bit like oil and water. There were some issues there between those two people groups. And the Jews didn't want to have a whole lot to do with the Samaritans.
So we're going to pick it up in verse 3 of John, chapter 4.
"He [meaning Jesus] left Judea and went away again into Galilee. And He had
to pass through Samaria.
So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that
Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being
wearied form His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth
There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me
For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew,
ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings
Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who
says to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have
given you living water."
She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where
then do You get this living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are
You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?"
Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst
again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but
the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to
The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor
come all the way here to draw."
He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here."
The woman answered and said, "I have no husband."
Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five
husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have
The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worship-
ped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men
ought to worship."
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this
mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do
not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and
truth, for such people the Father seeks to he His worshippers. God is spirit, and
those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ);
when that One comes, He will declare all things to us."
Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you and He."
At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been
speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do you seek?" or, "Why do
you speak with her?"
So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men,
"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the
Christ, is it?"
Then we're going to skip down to verse 39:
"From that city may of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word
of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done."
So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with
them; and He stayed there two days.
Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman,
"It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."
So here we have this picture of Jesus taking this trip. Scripture says that he 'had' to go through Samaria. Like I said at the start, He didn't technically have to go through Samaria; most Jews wouldn't go through Samaria. So what does this mean that He 'had' to go through Samaria?
I think it really comes down to the fact that Jesus' whole life was on mission. He was on point, on mission the entire time. He didn't rest, He didn't take a break, He never looked at any one day and said, "I'm going to take a day off today and just not engage in why I've been sent here."
Just as a little side-note, though this isn't necessarily what we're going to spend our time focusing on, I think that's a really good lesson I know that I probably need. I don't know about the rest of you, but, man. Life is tiring, right? Between family life and work church engagements and all this stuff, sometimes don't you just want to unplug and just disconnect from everything and just be quiet?
That's a good thing; that's a really good thing. Solitude is good when we're using that solitude to really spend our time having that Sabbath rest and being in touch with God the Father and letting Him minister to us as we also take time to repent and pour our hearts out.
But I know for me, a lot of time, my "Sabbath rest" comes more as a, "I'm just going to veg out in front of Netflix right now and that'll do it."
Jesus didn't operate like that.
When Jesus was on earth, He knew He had limited time. He knew that He had a lot to do in a short amount of time.
So, I think He went through Samaria because He knew there were Samaritans who needed to hear the message of who Jesus was and the coming of the Christ. They needed that message. That's why He came. It was to save the broken and the lost. It wasn't to save the people who thought that they were already beyond being saved.
So He took His message to Samaria. And while He was there, He sat down at a well. It was probably around noon, that's what scripture says, around high noon, so it's no doubt, a warm day.
Typically, the women in the village would go to the well first thing in the morning to get their water for the day. Here, we've got this Samaritan woman coming to the well at noon, which is kind of a strange thing. It's possible that either she didn't want to be at the well because there was gossip and whispering and murmering going on about her because, as we see later on in the passage, she's lived a life, right? She's not a holy, puritanical kind of woman. She's got a past.
So it's possible she didn't like to be at the well because it was uncomfortable for her because she knew the other women at the well were sneering and pointing their fingers and taking cheap shots at her. It's probably also possible that, as much as she didn't want to be there, that they maybe didn't allow her to be there at that same time. You know, 'We know she's gotta get water from the well but we don't need to deal with her. We can ignore her as long as we don't have to see her.' That whole out of sight, out of mind kind of mentality that it's really easy to develop against people that we think are lesser than or not like us.
Regardless, she's at the well. It's noon. She's got a job to do and Jesus says, "Hey, could you get me a drink of water?"
The weird thing here, is that first of all, it's a man talking to a woman and they didn't know each other, so that had to be a little bit weird and beyond that, He was clearly a Jew. And she was clearly not. And that was really a strange thing. I imagine that had to seem a little startling to her that all of a sudden this Jewish man is beckoning her for water. Which is just a simple thing. It's what she was doing anyway, right?
In that conversation, as that conversation begins, they start talking about water and He's talking about a spiritual water and she's talking about literal water and she's confused and He's still trying to give her this idea that, 'In Me there is living water and you'll never quench again.' And she's like, "Dude, if I never had to come to this well again, that would be awesome." She's kind of missing the point.
But then we come to the point where He says, "Hey, go get your husband." And then she says, "I don't have a husband."
And then He...man, Jesus reads her mail. Right? I mean, He calls her out and says, "Yep, You're absolutely right. You don't have a husband. You've had five husbands but you don't have one now. In fact, the dude that you're living with is just that, the dude that you're living with.
And the cool thing about this is, yes, He does read her mail and yes, He does call her out but He doesn't do it in that judgey, harsh way that we find so darn easy to do, right? He just says, "This is what it is. I know who you are; I know the life that you're living." And He doesn't pass judgement on that.
I find that really interesting. I don't know, for me that's really intriguing, because I know myself, as much as I like to think that I'm full of grace and tolerance -not tolerance for sin, but tolerance because people are all valuable - and I try to be respectful and I tend to think I do a pretty good job of it. But if I'm really honest, I'm passing judgement a lot in my heart. I might not say it out loud but it sure is going through my heart. And that's a dangerous thing. And Jesus doesn't do that and I love that. I think it's a beautiful picture.
So anyway, what happens? She leaves. She goes back to her portion of the village and she starts telling everybody, "Hey, there's this guy at the well, this Jewish dude, who's talking to me and He knows everything I've ever done. This can't be Jesus, can it?"
So the townspeople begin to gather and talk and they go to the well and they meet Jesus. And they're so intrigued by everything He has to say. They ask Him to stick around a little while longer and teach them. And He obliges; He does that.
He takes time out of His schedule, out of His busy-ness, out of His agenda. He takes time. Not just 30 minutes, He took days out of His time to stay with these people who most Jews wouldn't mix with and He just loved on them. He gave them truth. He gave them grace. He gave them a path to redemption and relationship with God the Father.
It's such a beautiful picture I think. Here's this woman who's got a broken, messy past and honestly, a broken, messy current situation going on. Right? I mean, she's not the cream of the crop. And yet, she's the one that Jesus reaches out to because, I would imagine, she's the one that He knows will listen. Because He's got a message exactly for her. This message of grace and redemption and relationship with God the Father is exactly for people like her.
And He takes His time and He ministers to her. She, in turn, is intrigued by what He is saying. And she goes and she shared that all of a sudden this little mini revolution begins to happen in this region of Samaria, where otherwise, Jews don't go. One Jew showed up and gave a message of hope and it changed everything.
It changed everything for this woman at the well. This woman whose name we don't know, whose face we can only blurily see in our mind's eye. We don't know anything about her except that this encounter, this very simple encounter changed everything for her. Because Jesus met her exactly where she was and addressed a need that she had.
Because clearly, she wasn't just thirsty for literal water. Right? I mean, she'd been through five men, she was on her sixth. She was thirsty for more than just water. There was something inside of her that was hollow, that was empty, that had that void.
And Jesus said, "Hey, I can fill that spot in ways you can't even begin to imagine. And it's not going to come through abuse, and it's not going to come through taking advantage of you and it's not going to come through degrading you and it's not going to come in all of those ways that you've seen and experienced in your past. But I can give you a message of hope. And I can love you right here, right now that is so far beyond anything you've ever known or experienced, that's going to satisfy you in ways that you've never even imagined.
It was a simple encounter and it changed everything.
I remember one time, coming home from an evening of - I don't know if it was Bible study church service or what - but I was with my sister-in-law and we needed to stop at a local grocery store on our way home. As we were coming out of the car, we saw a homeless guy who was clearly in a bad way. Emotionally, you could see it. He was super agitated and he was asking people for money and we didn't have any money to give to him and didn't really know what all he wanted so we got to talking to him.
And what it turned out more than anything was a friend. So we spent a few minutes, just a few minutes and we prayed over him. We prayed for him to find the resources that he needed. He knew exactly what he was looking for, exactly what he needed. He just didn't really know quite how to go about it, or maybe felt like he'd burned a lot of bridges, I don't really remember exactly.
I just know that we took a few minutes. Now, I'm not likening that situation at all to the situation of Jesus and this woman at the well because I don't think us taking three minutes to talk with this guy and pray for him changed his entire world, but I know it changed mine.
Because it reminded me how important it is to look out. I don't about you guys, but I get tunnel vision. I've got an agenda, I have a To Do List, I have plans, I have things to do, people to see and deadlines to meet. Right? I get really caught up in that. I forget to look around and scan my eyes cross the horizon and say, "Okay, God, is there somebody here that You want me to go love on for a minute?"
I can't solve all their problems. I probably can't even solve one of their problems. I maybe have a buck on me. So it's not like I can do a lot in a practical sense, but maybe what they need is just a kind word. Or a smile and just to be seen and recognized as a fellow human being. Maybe they just want somebody to sit down and pray with them.
Maybe it's a little kid who doesn't get who doesn't get a whole lot of positive adult interaction and just needs some adult to recognize their creativity in the way that they color a piece of paper.
Maybe it's an elderly person who's gotten used to being overlooked and blending in to the background. Maybe they just need to be recognized as valuable, as having lived a life and gained some wisdom from that.
The fact is, there are people all around us, every single day that I think we don't see because we're so caught up in our plans. And Jesus had a plan. He was on mission. His plan was to go to Galilee. He knew exactly where He was going and He knew exactly why He was headed there.
But on that journey He was willing to look around, to look out across the horizon, to see the people that needed something more and then take the time to give it to them.
That's our calling, you guys; that's what we've been called to do. That's exactly it. We've been called to go into all the world to share the message of hope and forgiveness and redemption and relationship that we can find in Jesus Christ. He paid the ultimate sacrifice that day on the cross. He took all of our sin and He bled and died for that and He gave us a new life. A redeemed life. He placed on us a robe of righteousness and said, "Now you're Mine. You're My sons, you're My daughters. And now I'm sending you out into the world to do the very same thing. To sacrifice, to live a life of service, to live a life that points others back to Me."
What an honor it is that we have that responsibility on us. What a privilege we have to walk with Jesus.
Alright you guys...Hey, thank you for joining me for this little mini episode. We are, what, four or five episodes into this I think now. We're like halfway through. Man, this summer is going by so stinking fast. I don't know about you, but all of a sudden I looked at my calendar today and I was like, "AH! Where's time gone?"
There's so many things to do. There's projects, there's trips. There's lakes to swim in, there's hikes to take, there's BBQs to BBQ. It's crazy. Summer is such a busy time but it's busy with a lot of fun stuff.
But you guys, while we're out doing the fun stuff let's not forget to look around, to love on the people around us. I am, it seems like daily, reminded about the fragility of life and the fact that God has our days numbered but we don't have a clue.
So, love people where you are, love them hard where you are. Never let a day go by without saying to somebody just how much you love them.
Alright you guys, I'm going to take off but before I do, I just want to remind you that if you would like to go see our show notes.... What's the importance about seeing a show note? Does anybody know? Raise your hand. Yeah...you, you...in the back? Nope. That's wrong. That is not why we see show notes. I'll tell you why we see show notes.
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You guys, I think that's going to wrap that up for us. I can't think of anything else so you all have a fab-dabulous kind of day and I love you. I guess that's all.
I love you. Love God. Love others. See you next week. Bye.