If you read the text of John’s gospel, you will find that Jesus was always on the move. He was moving with an evangelistic push. He had to speak the Word of God to as many places as He could before His coming death, burial and resurrection. We see here that He moved from the province of Judea through Samaria to Galilee. The move from Judea showed punishment toward that area. Note http://ref.ly/Jn3.22, which speaks of Jesus’ arrival to that area. There is not much said about His ministry there. http://ref.ly/Jn4.3 says that He left Judea. The verb “left” is a strong verb in the original language. It is not the usual verb for leaving a place to go to another. It means to abandon something, to leave it to itself. [Analytical Bible Expositor John – John 4 -A. The Ministry For The Samaritans – 1. The Movements of the Savior, p. 56] Therefore, this speaks of Divine judgment. Jesus did not get a good response in Jerusalem or Judea.
Because the Pharisees were trying to incite competition between Jesus and John the Baptist http://ref.ly/Jn3.25-30, Jesus left Judea and moved north for Galilee. He and His disciples had one of three routes to take. They were along the coast, across the Jordan and up through Perea. He could have gone straight through Samaria. You should know that the Jews avoided any contact with the Samaritans. There existed a longstanding, deep-seated hatred between these two nations. The reason for this being the Samaritans were considered to be half-breeds. Jews intermarried with Gentiles. This happened because of the Assyrian captivity of the ten northern tribes in 727 BC. They could not prove their genealogy. This is one of the main reasons why there are lists of names (genealogies) in both the Old and New Testaments. Because of this, the Samaritans eventually established their own temple and religious services on Mt. Gerizim. This made the separation worse. Note what the Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament says the following: “This only fanned the fires of prejudice. So intense was their dislike of the Samaritans that some of the Pharisees prayed that no Samaritan would be raised in the resurrection!” When Jesus enemies wanted to insult Him, they called him a Samaritan. http://ref.ly/Jn8.48 No wonder the disciples questioned Jesus about him speaking to the woman at the well!
What the student of the Word remembers is that Jesus had to go through Samaria because He was on a Divine schedule. Jesus would meet the woman at the well and tell her about Himself. Her faith in His words would lead to many people of Samaria giving their lives to the real savior. This shows that Our Lord is not a respecter of persons. Salvation is for all who would accept Jesus by faith. They would accept Him as their Lord and Savior. He spoke to Nicodemus leading him to the truth. Now He would lead an outcast to saving knowledge.