I am always fascinated when reading the small details about Jesus’ mission in the Gospels. These are the things we often miss, because they simply set up the bigger story, but they reveal so much about who Jesus was and what His ministry was like.
In this story, John tells us three very pertinent facts about Jesus:
#1 – Timing was important to Him. When the Pharisees caught wind of Jesus’ ministry and its growing popularity, they were alarmed. At that point, conflict was inevitable, except that Jesus was not ready for conflict. That time had not yet come. Instead, Jesus decided to pack up and leave Galilee. Throughout His ministry, timing matters to Jesus. There is an important lesson in there for us.
Waiting on God’s timing can be brutal. God moves at a speed we can’t understand, and it sometimes tests the limits of our faith. Don’t run ahead of His, looking back over your shoulder and yelling for Him to catch up. And don’t slouch far behind Him, noticing the doors He is opening in your path, but hesitant to walk through them. Instead, God calls us to follow Him daily. Trust Him. His vision is perfect and His timing is impeccable.
#2 – Jesus was on a mission for individual people. In John 3, we learn that Jesus came because “God so loved the world.” In John 4, we learn that “the world” involves individual people. Jesus had to go to Samara because of this woman. She impacted His entire path. Jesus went to see her. God loves you. He loves me. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the thoughts that pass through your mind at night. He knows the things you’ve done – yes, even those things. And He still loves you!
#3 – Jesus was human. Yes, He was divine, but He was also a man. After the journey to Samaria, He was tired. He was thirsty. He needed to rest and refresh. Jesus wore human flesh. He felt emotions. He felt both pleasure and pain. The implications of that for the end of His life are hard to think about, but they are real. Jesus came on a mission for us, and He suffered for us – because He loves us.