Monday, July 31, 2006

Jesus Had to Go to Samaria

As I've previously mentioned, we're studying the Gospel of John in our Sunday School class. We began looking at chapter four this past Sunday-- "The Woman at the Well." We focused our attention on the phrase, "He had to pass through Samaria", noting that there were other routes available to Jesus and the disciples, but they chose the route through Samaria, ultimately stopping in the village/town of Sycar. Commenting on that phrase, John MacArthur writes:

It was not geographic necessity that compelled Him to [go through Samaria]…the Lord was compelled to pass through Samaria and stop in a certain village, not to save time…but because He had a divine appointment there. He was always conscious of doing the Father's will, which is why He came to earth. (John Commentary, Pg 141)

We spent some time contemplating God's sovereignty, not only in this situation, but in our own lives as well. How much does God "control?" What does it mean when we say that God is sovereign in everthing? Proverbs 16:9 says: "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps."

For me, knowing that, believing that God is in control of ALL things gives me great comfort...most of the time. Knowing that there isn't a single event in my life that He either controls or allows within His perfect plan for me relieves me from worrying (as if that would change anything). I have to admit though, there are times I still wonder: "God, why did you allow that? or "Why did you bring that particular thing into my life?" And I guess it's good that I ask, because it causes me to contemplate God's goodness and His plan(s) for me that are far better than anything I could dream up.

Knowing that God has providentially placed me in the job, family, neighborhood, church, etc...that He knows is best for me causes me to look at the situation differently. No such thing as "luck", just God's loving providence.

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