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THE GENTILES RECEIPT OF THE GOSPEL, #22

"And he must needs go through Samaria." (JOH 4:4)

We see in COL 1:21, "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." We have alienated ourselves. We have given up our citizenship in heaven, and we have taken up citizenship under the dominion of sin. We have thereby become citizens of this world by nature. How have we given up our heavenly citizenship? It says that you "were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind." It is in our attitude. It is in the rebellious attitude of our human nature that we find this alienation from God, and yet He came to reconcile those who were alienated in their minds.

As we center our study on the first six verses of the chapter before us we see the same deplorable state of alienation in the spiritual leaders of the church. That spiritual condition of Judaism, which we saw in the first three chapters, reveals itself so glaringly again in chapter 4, the alienation from the Spirit of God, the alienation from the mind of God, and alienation from God.

In JOH 1:19 and 26, we see the blindness of the priesthood, which is preventing them from recognizing the very "Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." We see how they were blinded from recognizing the very sacrifice that was typified every time they made a sacrifice.

In JOH 2:3, we find recorded, "they have no wine." The spiritual joy, the joy there is in believing, in knowing and doing the will of God, in having our minds reconciled with God, was gone. "They have no wine." It was the symbol of their spiritual joy. JOH 2:14, the temple, which is the symbol of the body of Christ, or the church, was desecrated; it was defiled. It was polluted with a man-made religion.

Satan has no quarrel with being religious. Satan has more religious people in his realm than the Lord does, but he has a man-made religion: a religion of what I believe and what I think instead of "thus saith the Lord."

JOH 3:7 reveals a blind and spiritually dead Sanhedrin. Those who were the leaders of the church were dead spiritually and spiritually blind. It’s revealing the state of the church. In the church today, how much true spirituality do you find left? How often do you find that "thus saith the Lord" is being preached? In an organized denomination (and I notice this more especially as I have started studying church history), soon the church serves the pastor instead of the pastor’s serving the church. They have a government; that government has meetings and governing power, and then they preach what the church says. They preach what the church has decided, and it becomes the authority instead of the Word of God. The longer this goes on, the further it strays away from the Word of God.

This is what took place in the Sanhedrin. They had their church leadership, and their church leadership had their study and their meetings, and the end result was they had a religion that was outside of the Word of God. This is the tendency any time you get into organized denominations. The Lord wants His church to be a local assembly, and He wants to have the pastor be the servant of the church, as the servant of the Lord. They are servants, not rulers; they’re not tyrants, but rather are to be placed in positions of service. JOH 3:32 reveals the disdain that the Jews had for Jesus and their rejection of His ministry. JOH 3:32 says, "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony."

As we proceed into Chapter 4, we see the heartless hatred Israel had toward its neighbor. The Lord Jesus Christ taught the law of love. The Lord Jesus Christ taught the Jews to love their neighbor, and they had such a heartless, bitter hatred toward the Samaritans. Although Israel had the oracles of God, their selfishness left them indifferent to the salvation of those who dwelt in darkness.

See the relationship that there was in that day between Israel and Samaria in JOH 4:9. "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." It doesn’t say that the Samaritans refused to have dealings with the Jews. These "heathens" (as they were considered by the Jews), in that respect, were more righteous than the Jews. It does not say that the Samaritans refused to deal with the Jews, but it says, "the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." They were "holier" than the Samaritans. They looked down on the Samaritans. They had a perpetual hatred for them because they had a man-made religion that was outside of the Word of God, and they had no knowledge of the law of love. They had no understanding of what it meant to love their neighbor.

This prejudice is also revealed by Jesus’ own disciples in JOH 4:27. "And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?" They marveled to think that He would talk to a woman from Samaria! His disciples could understand that He met with publicans and sinners and eat with them, but to think that He would talk to a Samaritan! There was such a prejudice against the Samaritans by the Jews.

Jesus was reproving this prejudice when He told His disciples, in JOH 4:34-35, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." They came to Him with food and didn’t understand why He wasn’t ready to eat. He said, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

Where were they? They were in Samaria. They weren’t in the land of Israel now. They were not among the Jews. He said, "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." What He was telling them was that He came to do the will of His Father, and that was to come for the great harvest of souls. He reproved them for overlooking the harvest He had among the Gentiles, well aware that they, in their own self-righteous upbringing, had hatred and disdain for the Gentiles.

Not only does JOH 4 teach us the miserable condition of Judaism at the time of Christ’s sojourn upon earth, but it teaches the same principle taught in ROM 11:11. "I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy."

This is the principle we see being taught in this chapter. Their rejection of Christ caused Him to withdraw Himself from Judaism and go into Samaria that the salvation of the Samaritans might provoke the Jews to jealousy, to see what they were missing and to see the loving spirit of the Samaritans. The parable of the Good Samaritan was a reproof to Judaism, to show the attitude of the Samaritans. Jesus said, "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him." (LUK 10:30-33)

The Lord Jesus used the compassion of the Samaritans to provoke the Jews unto jealousy, that they would see their of iniquity and repent, thus making themselves candidates for the salvation that there is in Christ. The salvation of the Gentiles resulted from the Jews’ rejection of Christ. See this in ACT 13:46. "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles."

This is the principle taught in our chapter, JOH 4:3. "He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee." Galilee was of the Gentiles, which is evident from MAT 4:15. "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles." Jesus "left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee" because He was rejected by the Jews. JOH 3:32-33 says, "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true." They refused to hear.

They tried to instigate jealousy and contention between Christ and John the Baptist. They had done everything they could to overthrow the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Pharisaical religions will do anything in their power to overthrow a Bible-centered ministry for the exact same reason the Jews rejected Jesus Christ: it reproves their hypocrisy. Now that Jesus has left Judaea and departed again into Galilee, He has Samaritans as His audience instead of Jews. He has left Judaea and gone into Galilee.

I’m not a prophet. I don’t get into prophecies, but there’s something here to think about in 2PE 3:8. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." It raises a question in our minds. Is this pertinent to what we read in JOH 4:40? "So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days."

Christ was rejected by the Jewish nation. He went from there, and the ministry went to the Gentiles; the Jews were forsaken. Does that mean that after two thousand years He’ll return? After two days, He left Samaria. Many people think, many respected writers believe, that there is a connection there: after two thousand years the gospel will be accepted by the Jews. That is, they will receive the Lord Jesus Christ; they will accept the ministry of Christ.

There are some people who make up a checklist of what has to happen, exactly what must transpire when you’re saved. The Lord is free and does as He pleases. Nicodemus, in the end, was indeed a child of God. The woman of Samaria was indeed a child of God. See the contrasts between the two. See how the Lord approached them in two totally, opposed ways. Look at the distinction between the character’s experience of each. See the difference between JOH 3 and JOH 4.

The first, recorded in JOH 3, was a self-righteous Pharisee named Nicodemus. He was one of the leaders of the Jews, a man with a name of recognition. He was named Nicodemus. The other, in JOH 4, her name isn’t even given, and she was a woman. Nicodemus was a man of rank, a "Master of Israel." The other was a woman of the lower ranks who came to "draw water." She didn’t have servants: she had to haul her own water.

Nicodemus was a favored Jew; the woman of Samaria was a despised Samaritan. See the contrast there. Not only was Nicodemus a Jew, but he was of the highest ranks of the Jews. He was a member of the Sanhedrin. The woman of Samaria was a despised Samaritan of the lowest status.

She had five husbands, and the latest one wasn’t even her own. Nicodemus sought out Christ; the woman of Samaria was sought out by Christ. There are many people whom I’ve heard say, "That’s one thing you have to examine: did it begin with me or did it begin with the Lord? If it began with me, it is not genuine." That’s not what the Scriptures teach. Nicodemus sought out Christ. He came to Him by night. He went out searching for Him. Christ sought out the woman of Samaria in her own course of life. They’re both valid.

Nicodemus came to Christ by night so that he would not be seen talking to Him. The woman of Samaria met with Christ at a public place in daylight, at midday. The Lord uses one approach with one and another approach with another. To the self-righteous Pharisee, Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (JOH 3:3) The very first words to the self-righteous Pharisee were words of reproof, letting him know his self-righteous state and of his need of a change of mind. To the woman of Samaria, Jesus said, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." (JOH 4:10)

We see a woman in a deplorable condition, and He was presenting to her the love of God. Notice, Jesus did not say, "You have to know your sins and miseries, and your lost condition. What He said was, "If thou knewest the gift of God." He allured her and attracted her with the riches of Christ in the beauties of salvation.

"If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." See how diverse the means the Lord uses to attract one and another: each one according to his/her circumstances, each one according to God’s free and sovereign grace. Any particular checklist that He has to go through this or that series of steps does not bind the Lord. There’s one thing that is common: by nature we are all alienated in our minds, and as the Holy Spirit works, we become renewed in the spirit of our minds. That’s where it all begins.

How the Lord approaches us and how He brings repentance about is so diverse that there is certainly no set of rules. The effect? We know not where it comes from, nor how it worked, but one thing we know: that alienation in our minds is broken and our hearts come into reconciliation with the will of God. How the Lord brings this about will be different in each person. There is no given set of rules.

The teachings of the Lord Jesus by the Word of God reveal what is in the heart, which makes the Pharisee reject Christ, but it makes the sinner whose eyes are truly opened by grace to come out and confess sin. As the Word of God reveals the hypocrisy in the heart of the Pharisee, the result is that he turns bitter and hateful, rejecting Christ because of the hypocrisy that is revealed, but in those that are truly born-again sinners, you’ll see the fruit of God’s grace.

To the woman of Samaria, Christ was preaching the gospel, preaching about the gift of the Father, revealing who the Father is. He never mentioned hell or damnation one time in that chapter but she said, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" (JOH 4:29) Every sin of her heart was laid naked and open before the all-seeing eye of God and she saw, in that revelation of her heart, that He was the Word of God, that He was the Lord Jesus Christ. She acknowledged her sin. There’s the difference between a Pharisee – a hypocrite – and a true-born child of God. True-born children of God confess that they’re sinners because it has been revealed to them by seeing the gift of God: Christ and His blessed atonement revealed. They see the love of the Father, and how grievously they have alienated themselves from such love.

Now she goes out to her neighbors and says to come and see the man that "told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" There’s the difference between a Pharisee – a hypocrite – and one who is a true, convicted soul. When the Holy Spirit truly convicts us of our sin, it doesn’t mean that we fear hell. There’s not one indication in this chapter that hell was even a concern for the woman of Samaria, but she saw the pollution of her sin. She saw how filthy she was, how her sin separated her from God, and now the blessedness of being reconciled with God. That’s what’s necessary for salvation. Whether or not we come under the torments of hell, whether or not we come to see the pollution of sin-wherever the Lord leads us-as He convinces us of sin, if it’s the work of the Spirit, it will cause us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds.

The Spirit will bring us to desire reconciliation with God, and we’ll not be primarily heaven-seekers, primarily concerned about getting justified so that we can escape hell; that will not be our primary concern. Our primary concern is to be reconciled with God: that in our hearts, we can be brought back into union and communion with God. This is what she saw in the preaching of Jesus Christ. She said, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

Even at the early stage of Jesus’ public ministry, the Pharisees rejected His teachings because their hypocritical practices were condemned. Do you really want to be able to go home leaping and rejoicing because you’ve been rejected by the world? Then reprove sin. LUK 6:22-23 says, "Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets."

Look what happened in JOH 2:15-16. "And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise."

What’s the first reaction they have to this? "By what authority? Who are you? What right do you have to do these things?" This is the first reaction we see from them. Look at verse 18: "Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?" "Tell me your calling. I’ll believe you if you can convince me of your calling." Do you know how hypocritical this is? As we study this passage, see how hypocritically they rejected the Lord Jesus Christ because they rejected His calling.

In JOH 4:1-3 we read, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.)..." They’re coming now to condemn Him because He didn’t have the "right" calling, and He was baptizing. He was unauthorized to do what He was doing: therefore they came to condemn Him, and He wasn’t even the one that was doing it! It was His disciples. They were falsely accusing Him. He had not been the one who had done the baptizing.

Verse 3 says, "He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee." When we quench the Spirit of God with bitterness and hatred and hypocrisy, He departs. He removed the candlestick from the church. (REV 2:5) When hypocritical bitterness and hatred and disunity rules in the church, He departs.

I was talking to a man, and He was saying that the Spirit of God used to be in this church; now the Spirit of God is gone, and it’s your fault. Well, is it? Or was bitterness and hypocritical jealousy the reason the Spirit left?

But watch what happened here. "Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light." The Lord Jesus is saying, you were willing, for awhile, to rejoice in the ministry of John. You were willing to accept that he had a calling, but you won’t accept mine. Verse 36 says, "But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me."

You should be able to judge Him by His actions, by the fruit of His ministry. You don’t judge a ministry by the man’s calling – but by the fruit of his ministry! You should be able to see "that the Father hath sent me." You should be able to see it by his actions, by the fruit, the witness that he bears of the truth.

They could at least respect John (see the human reasoning, see wherein it lay) and rejoice for a season in his light because John was the son of Zacharias. John was of the house and lineage of Levi, so he was a member of the priestly line. Notice in LUK 1:5-10 that John indeed was the son of Zacharias, who was a priest. In their estimation, because he was of the tribe of Levi, and because his father was indeed a priest, they could accept him, and have at least some respect for what John was doing.

However, they were infuriated when they "had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John." (JOH 4:1) They became infuriated by this because it was making it seem that He was greater than John. They would not accept Jesus because he had never been through the schools of the scribes. He was "unlearned." JOH 7:15 says, "And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?" How could He stand up to the scribes and the Pharisees, those who were the doctors of the law, those who had the equivalent of doctor’s degrees in the law and in theology? They could not accept the ministry of Jesus because He had never been to school.

They considered His house and lineage. Look at MAT 13:53-58. See how they reasoned that it was impossible for Him to be so learned. "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? [He’s not a Levite; He’s not a scribe or Pharisee; He’s not one that we can recognize!] Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. [He didn’t have any prestige. He was too humble for them.] But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."

As they supposed, Jesus was a man of Galilee. They looked at Him as a heathen. How could a heathen even be allowed in the temple, much less to come and teach them?

The scribes and the Pharisees sent a group to go and take Jesus. They were going to put Him under arrest. They came back "and Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." (JOH 7:50-52)

He’s a Galilaean. It was impossible that He could be a teacher sent from God. It wasn’t Jesus they rejected; it was the Word of God they rejected, because it reproved them, it revealed their hypocrisy. JOH 4:1-3 says, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee." Their rejection of Jesus and the gospel is what the Lord used as His instrument to bring salvation to the Gentiles.

Notice the order of the words in JOH 4:1. "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John." (See that the word made comes before baptized.) What does this teach about infant baptism? We’re made disciples of Jesus before we’re baptized. That one verse alone should be the only verse needed in the entire Bible to refute infant baptism because we are not made disciples of Jesus Christ until we’re regenerated by the Holy Spirit.

"He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee." (JOH 4:3) This is a very solemn thought! When we allow jealousy, hypocrisy, and contention to rule in a church, the Lord Jesus departs. The Spirit of God departs. The end result is that we have a church of Pharisees. This same principle is taught in LUK 10:10-11. "But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

When you come to preach the gospel, if it’s rejected, they have their chance. The kingdom of God has come near. That’s the principle that we see in our chapter. This was also what Jesus did: He did not stay to cast His pearls before the swine when (as we read in JOH 3:32), "And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony."

Our text says, "And he must needs go through Samaria." (JOH 4:4) This is a very important part of our study. The most direct route from Judaea into Galilee was through Samaria, but this also has a spiritual significance. According to history, the Jews used to cross to the east bank of the Jordan, then bypass Samaria, then cross the river again and come west into Galilee. That’s how they traveled because they hated the Samaritans so badly that they wouldn’t go through their land. But Jesus "must needs go through Samaria," This also has spiritual significance.

The Samaritans were a people who were a mixture of heathens and Israelites. Their religion was a mixture of God’s Word and human reasoning. Today’s "Samaritans" are greater in number than true Christians. The Biblical Samaritans had a mixture: they had the Word of God blended with human reasoning, which resulted in serving idols. 2KI 17:33 says, "They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence."

This is what we have in modern religion today. They fear the Lord (they acknowledge Christ and God), but they serve their own idols. The Lord Jesus Christ went into a church whose state would resemble many in America today – many in the world today. They served their own gods and professed to fear the Lord.

When the Jews returned from their Babylonian captivity, the Samaritans offered to help rebuild Jerusalem, but when they were refused, they became bitter enemies. The bitter enmity between the Samaritans and the Jews developed at the time when the Jews returned from their Babylonian captivity. EZR 4:2-4 says, "Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you [see their reasoning]: for we seek your God, as ye do [we serve the same God you do, so let us build together]; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. [It was when they came back into the land of Samaria they sacrificed unto the Lord, but they served their own gods. They had the same religion as the Jews. They feared the Lord.] But Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building."

When they were rejected and were not allowed to help build the house (the Israelites rejected them), the bitterness set in. That’s when the bitter separation really was established between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans held the five books of Moses and the prophetic oracles of God as Divine. They were not total heathens, but they did not acknowledge the man-made laws of the Jews. This is what brought about the separation. The Jews had all of their man-made laws. When God said, "Thou shalt remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy," that was one commandment. When the Jews finished it, there were 650 commandments connected with it. The Samaritans didn’t want anything to do with those 650. This is where the separation took place. They didn’t acknowledge all of the study and wisdom of the Jewish scholars.

This brought about the most heinous hatred against the Samaritans, because the Samaritans professed to believe in their God, but would not go along with their man-made religion. See how the Jews blasphemed Christ in JOH 8:48. "Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"

When the Jews accused the Lord Jesus of being a Samaritan, they couldn’t think of anything more vulgar. That was accusing Him of having the most heinous nature. "Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"

Do you see how great the separation is? Does it not behoove us therefore to bow our hearts before the condescension of our blessed Saviour, that He uses a Samaritan to demonstrate the Spirit of Christ in the parable about the Good Samaritan in LUK 10:33-36?

The parable of the Good Samaritan is designed to show how we are to treat our neighbor; yet look how they are treating Christ with disdain by calling Him a Samaritan. So the Lord Jesus uses a Samaritan, and the good deed of the Samaritan, to demonstrate the love that you and I should have toward our neighbor. They were really far more righteous than the Jews.

This is a bit of the ignominy to which our Saviour humbled Himself, and how He took the shame and hatred we deserved. He uses a Samaritan to illustrate the love of Christ. The Jews couldn’t imagine anything more abominable than "a Samaritan," and He takes that image to illustrate His own love, to show that He was willing to take on that hatred and shame that we might share in His glory. Then we will begin to understand our text "And he must needs go through Samaria." (JOH 4:4)

The Lord Jesus Christ "must needs" humble Himself. He humbled Himself unto death, even the death of the cross, and in humbling Himself He became obedient unto death. You and I must have His obedience imparted to us, so that we can stand righteous before the justice of the Father, having His perfect righteousness imputed to us. He humbled Himself that we might again be able to be partakers of the Divine nature, that our heart of bitterness might be dissolved into a heart of love through Christ’s imputed and imparted righteousness. That was why "he must needs go through Samaria."

This "must needs go" was decreed from all eternity. Some of God’s elect "must needs" be sought and found. That’s why "he must needs go through Samaria." With God’s elect in this cesspool of filth and sin, He had to condescend to bring Himself to Samaria to seek and to save those whom the Father has loved from eternity, and to bring them into their inheritance.

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold [They were not of the Jewish nation. He had another flock that was not Jewish.]: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (JOH 10:14-16)

There’s such perfect harmony in that perfect flock which the Lord brings together: there’ll "be one fold, and one shepherd." Election refers to persons; predestination refers to things. You and I are not predestined: we are elected. Election is "God chose." Predestination is "God predetermined." He predetermined that Jesus would go into Samaria. He predetermined that you and I would be conformed to the image of Christ. (ROM 8:29) That is predetermination. Election is the choice of God, wherein He chooses His elect. EPH 1:4-6 says, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world [that is election], that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself [that is predestination], according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."

Now that God has chosen His elect in grace, He has also predetermined that they shall be quickened; they shall be saved. He predetermined that our Saviour should go through Samaria, because some of His elect were there. They were chosen vessels of mercy and "he must needs go through Samaria," because there were those in Samaria whom the Father loved from eternity that must be saved.

He puts the entire operation of salvation into motion to save one sinner. JOH 4:29-30 says, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him." He came there to save one sinner, who became an evangelist and went out and began to evangelize her town and nation.

When you and I have truly found our pearl of great price, we become evangelists. We find that we’re not able to hold our peace. We must go out and proclaim, "Come, see the man!" As the result of her evangelism, many were brought unto Christ. JOH 4:39-42 says, "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. [There were many that were saved, that came unto Christ because of the evangelism of one person.] So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world."

The Samaritans were looking for the coming of Christ, too. Our text, JOH 4:4 says, "And he must needs go through Samaria." Amen.


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