[Jesus] left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. — John 4:3-4
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It shows that although Jesus wasn’t forced to do so, he “had to go through Samaria.” This means he went intentionally, knowing he had a mission to fulfill. And that was unusual, for in those days Jews went out of their way not to go through Samaria because the Jews and the Samaritans despised one another.
Jesus, in his close relationship with his Father, knew he had a job to do. He had to go outside of the expected cultural and traditional norms to offer grace and eternal life to a Samaritan woman, who then shared the good news with her entire town (see John 4:27-32).
Living in the freedom of the resurrection allows us to be intentional. Jesus’ death and resurrection restored our relationship with God and welcomes us to a place of full communion with him.
In communion with God, we pray and listen to the Holy Spirit, who gives us renewal and strength to go out and live intentionally, as Christ did. We are to submit to one another and offer acceptance and grace to everyone, including people outside our normal comfort zones—even those who might be our enemies.
Today, may the freedom and grace offered to you in Jesus empower you to freely offer the same to others.