My heart stopped as I looked at my calendar. I’d missed my appointment with my child’s school principal. Again. Shrouded in shame, I reached for my phone and imagined the principal reaching for his, except he wasn’t calling me.
“Department of Social Services. May I help you?”
“Yes, this is the principal of Pineview Elementary. I’d like to report an unfit mom.”
Ages ago, Jesus also had an appointment to keep. We know because John recorded it.
“And He had to pass through Samaria” (John 4:4).
Jesus had to pass through Samaria?
Surely he didn’t have to. In fact, no good Jew in those days traveled through Samaria. They despised the Samaritans and wore a well-trodden path around their land to avoid them. If Jesus didn’t have to go through Samaria because of roads, then why did he? I looked for the answer in what he did when he got there.
Jesus rested by Jacob’s well and waited. He had an appointment no one else knew about except his Father. She showed up right on time. Jesus, a Jew, had an appointment with a woman. An unmarried Samaritan woman who was shacking up with a man – the sixth man she’d lived with. She wouldn’t have expected anyone to be at the well at that time of day, much less a Jew. But Jesus had known it all. In fact, he told her everything she’d done. He spared us the details, but no doubt they were of questionable nature. What was Jesus thinking?
No proper Jew would’ve kept that appointment. But Jesus did. He had words of hope and encouragement, but most of all, he had the words of life. Before the end of his appointment, he’d changed more than this Samaritan woman of ill repute. His words, seasoned with truth, grace, and mercy, impacted her entire town.
More than 2,000 years later, in 1982, Jesus had another appointment. If John had recorded it, he may have written, “And he had to travel on I-75.”
Jesus met another woman and told her everything she’d ever done. Like the woman at the well, he didn’t drive her away in her shame. Instead, his words of life drew her to him. Drew me. Back to Jesus.
Somewhere along the road of life, I’d taken a wrong turn and gotten lost, far from God. But Jesus had made an appointment with me, set for that moment in my little Honda on I-75. And he didn’t miss it.
Perhaps you have a loved one who doesn’t know Jesus or has gotten lost, far from him. You can trust that Jesus knows. Pray and rest. He’ll travel the highways and byways for the ones he died to save. Whether they’re sitting in a classroom, penthouse office, or prison cell, Jesus sees. Jesus cares. And Jesus keeps his appointments.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 NASB
Copyright © 2017 Jean S. Wilund. Used by permission.