Jesus of Nazareth was full of surprises. His disciples often had trouble figuring him out, but Jesus had an agenda. Everything he did was for a reason.
Take an incident early on in Samaria. Jesus thought it good to leave Judea because things were getting a little hot for him down there. The shortest road north led through Samaria. It was not a road that most Jews took when they went north to Galilee. They crossed the Jordan—a longer and more difficult route—because they just couldn’t stand the Samaritans.
Most Christian readers are aware that the Samaritans were despised by the Jews, but not so many know why. Knowing who the Samaritans are and the story of their origins is important to properly understand what happens on Jesus’ journey through Samaria. So, let’s take a look back at 2 Kings 17.