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The words, "He must needs pass through Samaria" are arresting. The final explanation must be found in His dealing with the woman of Samaria. In itself, it is a radiant revelation of His method as He led this woman step by step from an almost flippant carelessness into a confession of discipleship.
It was while dealing with her that the disciples, who had gone away to find food, returned, and they were amazed to see Him talking to a woman. With love for Him, they sought to persuade Him to eat. He took the opportunity to reveal to them the deeper things of His heart, telling them that He had meat to eat that they knew not of, which was to do the will of God. He had been doing that will in dealing with this needy woman.
The sequel of that conversation was His tarrying in the Samaritan city for two days, during which He so dealt with them that they made the great confession, "This is indeed the Saviour of the world."
Leaving Samaria, He returned to Galilee, and He came to Cana. There, at a distance, He wrought a wonder in healing the boy in answer to the father's urgent appeal.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on John 4". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28