Jesus “Must Needs”

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

This is probably one of my favorite accounts in scripture, and perhaps the most interesting part to me is the words, “must needs”.

Some say that he “needed” to go through Samaria simply because it was directly on the way from Judea to Galilee, and thus a faster trip. But history shows that the Jews’ preferred route was around Samaria by the way of the Jordan, and he actually stayed in Sychar for two days, so speed wasn’t the reason why.

Looking closer at “must needs”, I find it very interesting that most other places where John uses this phrase, it’s speaking directly about God’s will or God’s plan. Furthermore, this trip through Samaria was only on his way back to Cana. But he had just left Cana to go to the Passover feast in Jerusalem days prior and is now on his way back, and no mention is made of passing through Samaria on the first trip. So, I gather that this wasn’t just a trip of convenience, and a chance meeting with a woman at Jacob’s well, but this was simply part of the Plan.

He planned to meet the woman.
He planned to reveal the future opening of salvation beyond the Jews (4:21)
He planned to make the connection of Spirit and Truth.
He planned to introduce himself to the Samaritan as Messiah.

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