Why Jesus Went Through Samaria

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Aug. 5, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church          Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: John 4:1-7

Text: John 4:4

John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

Introduction: Seven of us from our church just attended the annual Sword of the Lord Conference on Revival and Soul-Winning. While there, we heard many great messages, one of which was on this text. God stirred my heart about this passage at that time, and I want to bring you a message today on this text.

Today is the beginning of our sixth 90-day session for our soul-winning training program. I’m praying that God will use this message to stir some of you to NOT put it off until next time, but enlist TODAY to FOLLOW Jesus and become a “fisher of men.”

There were some things that the Bible says that Jesus HAD to do. It said that He MUST do some things.

For instance, one of the MUSTS of the Lord was that He HAD to die for sinners and rise again:

Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

John 20:9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

Another MUST for Him was to be about the Father’s business:

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

Jesus said that He MUST bring “other sheep” into the fold:

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Another must was PREACHING, which included one-on-one preaching as well as to groups:

Luke 4:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.

I want to especially point out, however, that the Bible uses the word, “MUST,” with regard to certain divine appointments of our Lord with sinners to lead them to God:

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

That is, I believe the case of our text, when the Bible says that

John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria.

Even as the Spirit of the Lord led Philip AWAY FROM Samaria to preach the gospel to one Ethiopian eunuch in the desert (Acts 8), Jesus HAD to go THROUGH Samaria to reach one woman with the message of living water.

Let’s look at some of the reasons for the necessity of this visit to Samaria:



John 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.

A. Regardless of their sex or gender

  • Jesus is seeking SINNERS.
  • Jesus is after men AND women to bring them to God!
  • He is also seeking LITTLE sinners, little boys and girls who know they have sinned against God and need to be saved.

B. Regardless of their social class or grouping

  • Jesus is seeking rich sinners and poor sinners.
  • He will save from the “guttermost” to the “uttermost.”
  • He died for the “up and out” as well as for the “down and out.”
  • Our church should be trying to get people saved of every race, of every income level, and of every religious background.

C. Regardless of their sin

  • The best prospects for salvation are not the people with “respectable” jobs, who visit our churches.
  • The best prospects for salvation are the people who have ruined their lives with sex, drugs, and crime.



John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, 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.

A. She was dead

  • 1 Timothy 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
  • She no doubt thought sometimes that she was “living it up,” but in reality she was nothing but a zombie, a walking corpse.
  • The Bible says that lost people are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1).

B. She was dirty

  • Jesus goes after “undesireables”!
  • Glory!

C. She was in a drought

  • She came to get physical water for a physical thirst.
  • However, she was unaware that God was able to fill the emptiness of her HEART with LIVING WATER!
  • Lost people are living in a desert, my friend, even if they are physically living in the best houses! They need desperately the Fountain of living water!
  • Will you let God use you to take “the living water” to people who are dying of spiritual thirst?



John 4:31-34 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

A. Jesus loves souls

  • John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
  • Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Jesus loved sinners enough to die for them! Do you love them enough to become a part of our church’s outreach to sinners?

B. Jesus looks for souls

  • Jesus spent His ministry going to the public and dealing with people.
  • While the disciples were gone into town for bread, Jesus went to the well to find a woman who needed God.
  • Are you and I looking for souls as much as we look for a deal at the grocery store or department store?
  • Are we looking at people as souls who need the Savior when we give them money at the check-out counter or take their phone calls?

C. Jesus leads souls to God

  • Jesus pointed people to heaven!
  • You and I, if we follow Jesus, will also be pointing people to heaven!
  • Some of you have been saved for years and years and have never gone regularly into the houses of sinners to show them the way to heaven!
  • Let’s get started!



John 4:35 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.

They had the wrong schedule

A. For lifting up their eyes

  • Our eyes are too focused on the dirt of this world!
  • Some Christians are so tied up with television, magazines, books, and the Internet that they don’t have time to win souls.
  • Folks, NOW is the time for all good Christians to come to the aid of their Savior and lift up their eyes!!!

B. For looking on the fields

  • We should look on the FOREIGN field and give above our tithes and other offerings to the cause of missions.
  • We should give prayer and financial support to those who are carrying the gospel to other lands.
  • We should look on the HOME field and not only give tithes and offerings to our local church, whose aim is to win souls, but we should look on the lost here in our area and realize that WE are the instrument God wants to use to bring people in our area to the Lord!

C. For laboring in the fields

  • Don’t put it off for four months!
  • Don’t put it off for another 90 days!
  • Get involved TODAY in soul-winning!



John 4:39 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.

No, she wasn’t a “lady” in her past; she was apparently a wicked woman. But NOW she was changed. Her LOOKS didn’t change that day. She didn’t put on “church clothes.” She didn’t change her makeup or hairstyle. However, there was a SUPERNATURAL change in her:

A. She had a supernatural redirection – of desire

  • She changed from being a fornicating woman to a faithful witness for Christ!
  • God took Saul from BUSTING UP churches and changed him into Paul for BUILDING UP churches!
  • If you’re saved, God wants to turn you around, turn you inside out and make you a shining light for Him!

B. She had a supernatural revelation

  • About her sin
  • About the Savior

C. She had supernatural results

  • Many came to the Lord because of her own witness.
  • Many trusted Christ after their own investigation, but they had their interest aroused because of her witness!
  • If God could use THAT woman to bring many people to the Lord, He can use you!
  • Aren’t you glad that Jesus came by YOUR well one day? Aren’t you glad that He revealed to you your lost condition and His way of salvation? Well, why won’t you let Him send YOU into the town to bring people to Him as this woman did?
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