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Transformation Garden - April 26, 2014

  • 2014 Apr 26

April 26, 2014

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“If any man thirst, let (them) come unto me, and drink.”

John 7: 37

“Merely going to the spring and looking at its sparkling waters will never quench any one’s thirst; we must drink of the waters. So, looking at Christ is not enough to bless us; we must take Him into our life and let His Spirit fill our hearts.”

J. R. Miller
Come Ye Apart

Today’s Study Text:

“(Jesus) left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria.”


“Behold The Man” – Part 6

“You Matter To Jesus – ‘He Needs Go’”

“The love of Christ is like the blue sky, into which you may see clearly, but the real vastness of which you cannot measure.”

Robert Murray McCheyene

Have I ever felt that Jesus needed to “come by a special route” to meet me and draw me to Him?

“He loved us not because we’re lovable, but because He is Love.”

C. S. Lewis


“Jesus has been accused of being ineffective, in a political sense, and of having done little to right social injustices. But it is clear from the Sermon on the Mount that He was deeply concerned that His disciples should be both the ‘salt’ and the ‘light’…It is true that He did not lead a rebellion against Rome…or introduce a social revolution. He had come for a particular purpose, which was far more important than any of these things – and from that purpose nothing could or did deflect Him.”

J. N. D. Anderson

Over the past few days, we studied the words recorded in the “Prologue” or “Overture” to the book of John in verses 1: 1-18. As the Apostle John penned, the “Word,” Christ Jesus, who was with God and was God, came to earth, or as we learned He moved into our neighborhood to live with us. What’s more, the “light” Jesus brought, penetrated the “darkness” of our world. As we proceed to “Behold The Man” – Jesus Christ, during the next five days, we will witness the way Jesus, the “Word” chose to interact with each individual He met on earth. Indeed, we will see how His love drew those who found themselves stumbling around in darkness, into His circle of love.

It is the Apostle John’s biblical record that I want to continue to study for this faithful and beloved disciple is the only one of Jesus’ disciples who leaves a record of an encounter that Jesus had at Jacob’s well in Samaria.

I found it quite instructive that Professor George W. Stroup, in his comments on John 4: 5-42, began with this tremendously insightful observation which links together our study last week and the story of the Samaritan woman at the well which we will focus on this week. As Professor Stroup states, “Repeatedly in John’s Gospel, people misunderstand Jesus in their first encounter with Him. The unnamed woman at Jacob’s well in Sychar and all of Jesus’ disciples found themselves initially in this number. Some never (came) to know who He (was). In her conversation with Jesus, the Samaritan woman slowly moved from unbelief to belief, from darkness to light, from blindness to sight, from ignorance to knowledge, from misunderstanding to understanding.”

Just as John told us in John 1: 5, “the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” We find this to be exactly what happened in Judea when as John 4: 3, 4 our study text for today, reports that “Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee.” I want to stop for a moment because Biblical scholars acknowledge that the reception Jesus received in Judea was not a particularly warm one and so, possibly hoping to reach receptive hearts, Jesus turned His ministry toward Galilee.

But then, John continues with specific and interesting words: “He must needs go through Samaria’ (John 4: 4, K.J.V.). Just to be clear, in the Greek, this short phrase is translated, “It was necessary He travel through or go through Samaria.” However, the Greek also uses these words: “It was required He ‘pierce through’ Samaria.”

In my mind’s eye, I visualize a beam of bright light piercing the darkness of night, just as John tells us Jesus’ ministry did. Author E. R. Stier well remarks, “How many such colloquies (conversations or written dialogues) may have occurred in the life of Jesus, which were not written down.” This astute observation jogged my memory regarding the times in Jesus’ life when He apparently veered off a set journey to stop in and visit a person in need. How frequently might it have been very necessary so He could see someone that needed to be healed or as in the case of the widow of Nain, so He could raise her son from the dead.

And so it was that John states: “Jesus had need to ‘pierce’ through the darkness in the region called Samaria.”

In all my reading about the “woman at the well,” as she is called, no author more beautifully portrays this experience than Scottish Pastor J. R. Mac Duff in his touchingly written portrait of a tired and thirsty Jesus, asking a foreign, outcast woman for a drink of water in Noontide at Sychar.

There is one phrase that J. R. Mac Duff uses to layout the situation which touched my heart as I pray it will yours:

“What was this divine constraint imposed upon the adorable Redeemer which demanded so special an entry into the narrative of the inspired record?...A wandering star was, in the course of this memorable journey, to be reclaimed from its devious orbit, and a glorious testimony given as to how God’s sovereign grace can triumph over all obstacles.”

I want to ask you, “Has there been a time in your own life when, from a spiritual viewpoint, you have felt as though you were a “wandering star in a devious orbit?” Maybe you have felt alone and outside the spiritual calling in your life. What’s more, you might feel that your life in “Sychar,” which is a word that meant “drunkard or folly,” has no meaning except foolishness.

Rather than turn to His disciples and tell them that “Sychar” was not on the map on their journey or any other for that matter, Jesus “must needs go through Samaria!” I love how Pastor Mac Duff lays out what he believes to be the reason that Jesus was drawn into this region with seemingly “unfertile” territory: “There is one special practical thought which this ‘needs be’ of the great wayside Traveler suggests: it is, the peerless value of a single soul in the sight of Christ.”

As if to highlight Jesus concern for just one person, Pastor Mac Duff reiterates the words of John: “‘He must needs go’ and that ‘need’ was to polish one stone for the building of His temple, one gem for His crown - to give one shipwrecked abandoned vessel, drifting fast to destruction amid wild tempests and wintry seas, rest and safety and repose in the haven of His own infinitely pure presence and compassion.”

So often, when we see crowds of people on this globe we call “planet earth,” it may seem impossible to believe that one person, like you, ever has the undivided attention of Jesus, especially when there are so many in need of His loving concern. Never forget, the “needs be” which, as Pastor Mac Duff concludes, “brought the Saviour of the world to that wayside well of old, (will) bring Him still, in His (indescribable) compassion – to manifest the same personal love. Let none deem themselves beyond the pale of His divine power and sympathy, as if that great Central Sun had lost its sovereign control over the wandering star plunging amid the ever-deepening darkness.”

Today, you may be asking this question, “Will Jesus find and recapture one like me?” Thankfully, the love of our Saviour is so wide and grand that, “if needs be,” He will search you out in any way possible to reclaim you again. In the words of the great evangelist D. L. Moody, “The loss of a soul! Christ knew what it meant. That is what brought Him from the bosom of the Father; that is what brought Him from the throne; that is what brought Him to Calvary.” Never forget, “if needs be” He will do everything He needs to, in order to meet you at noontime or any other time in order to let you know you mean the world to Him.


“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3: 16

Steadfast Love

“Gracious God,
for Your love for us,
gentle as a shower,
healing our pain,
binding up our wounds,
we give You thanks.

For Your love for us,
sure as the dawn,
transforming our darkness,
revealing Your truth,
we give You thanks.

For Your love for us,
mercifully steadfast,
calling us to You,
raising us up,
we give You thanks.

For Your love for us,
encouraging questions,
open to our doubts,
making us vulnerable,
we give You thanks.

For Your steadfast love
has brought us to faith.
Your steadfast love
has cradled a new creation.”

Kate Mc Ilhagga

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

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