Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
"He left Judea and departed again for Galilee."
Is Jesus running away? Let’s have interpretation by voting. How many people say Jesus is not running away? Incorrect.
ANSWER: He is 100% running away. Now I don’t know if Jesus actually physically ran, but He is fleeing the scene. Jesus is vacating the conflict. Jesus is leaving. Jesus is letting go.
Proverbs [20:3], It is the wisdom of a man to stand aloof from strife.
Proverbs [26:4], Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him.
When to Avoid Conflict:
1.) When the opposition is longstanding and stubborn.
But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 2 Timothy 2:23
When it’s longstanding, think long and hard about whether today is the day to engage with that.
“If you can’t pick the fruit, don’t bruise it.”
for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. James 1:20
If beating the issue to death isn’t getting it done, it’s time to try something different. It’s wise sometimes to stand aloof from strife.
2.) When it’s Personal.
The Pharisees weren’t coming after somebody else; they were coming after Christ and His ministry. And when the opposition is personal, when they’re going after you, when they’re attacking you, maybe that’s the time for you to be silent and let God defend you.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Rom 12:18-19
Often, we get real passive when somebody else is being maligned and then get up out of our chair when we are attacked: “How dare she say that about me!
Will you just trust God in that moment? Will you give that over to the Lord?
3) When the opposition is unfair.
Don’t run from criticism that’s fair—face into it; learn from it; and humble yourself.
4) When the opposition is for God.
When the opposition is what you’re doing for God? That’s not something to face into.
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,that he might bring us to God, 1 Peter 3:13-18
When You Should Face Conflict
1.) When the person being wronged is not you.
Jesus walks directly through Samaria to deal with the white hot racial tensions between the Samaritans and the Jews. There he finds a woman, by herself, at a well at noon. She has been shunned by her society for her adulterous way. Jesus reaches out to her and extends grace.
2.) When the issue at stake matters to God.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8-9
The salvation of the Samaritans was not a minor issue. Racism was not a minor issue. These were not meaningless quarrels. Jesus engages in the battle.
3.) When the circumstances create proximity.
Jesus was on His way somewhere. He was traveling from Judea to Galilee. He could do what other rabbis did and cross the Jordan to avoid Samaria altogether. Instead, Jesus dealt with this in a timely manner when the opportunity presented itself.
4.) When avoidance would make things worse.
Jesus could not avoid this issue without making matters worse. To bypass Samaria would have given his silent endorsement to the prejudice and contempt the jews gel for the Samaritans.