20200315 Jesus and the Samaritan woman

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INTRODUCTION

Today March 15 is the second Sunday where Italian mus stay home and can not attend Mass at Church, regarded as a  epidemic risc for contagieing others. The Mass is a important for many Italians and especially for those in prisons who know can not have visits from their relatives.

But fortunately, the mass is sent by Rai1 at 11.00 from a empty mass in Rome. I have looked at Rai1 mass for a long time as I for my post stroke mental fatigue sleep badly sometimes and have difficulties to go to mass at 9.00 as it is celebrated here.

Today at Catholic mass Gv 4,5-42 John tells about Jesus encounter with the Samaritan woman that gives a nice example of Jesus respect for a people that was bullied as dogs by the Jews at his time for historical reasons.

I wrote about Jesus and the Samaritans July 2019 in a historical view at www.kinberg.net/wordpress/stellan/2019/07/14/jesus-and-the-samaritans/.

In that post I refered to Luke 10:25-37

 

INDEX

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The text

John 4,5-45 says:

Jesus comes to Sychar

4:05 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well.

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 
4:10 Jesus answered her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

04:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

The Living water metaphore

04:13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
04:15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”
04:16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.”
04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
04:21 Jesus said to her,Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”
04:26 Jesus said to her, I am he, the one who speaks to you.
At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
04:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”
04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

Jesus food

04:34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus staid with The Sychar Samaritans 

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word.
04:42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

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The message again – text with thoughts

As John 4:1 tells

At the well alone, with the Samaritan woman

It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

4:09 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” 

Jesus a a stranger for the woman

The woman saw that Jesus was a jew probably because of his appearance but she did not recognize that it was Jesus

The  lonely woman that did not run back to the home.

A that time like today, it was not allowed nor recommendable for a woman to be alone near a stranger.
The woman must have got a good feeling of this Jew (Jesus) as she did not run away but remained starting her work at the well.

The attitude of Jesus

Reading Jesus saying “Give me a drink.”  you may interpret this as being said with severe voice and face expression as a command.

you must be aware that words alone does not say much. John does not share any visual nor sound information.

Because of Jesus emphasizing love and love your enemy,
I presume his voice and face expression was not signaling a severe military order. Nor must he have signaled the Jews view about Samaritans.

So let us go back to the text:

The Living water metaphore

4:10 “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman obviously did not understand this stranger, so she answered respectfully with:

4.11 “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. From where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?”

Jesus answered her about the living water,

4:13 “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Obsiously this woman felt respect in Jesus so she said to him:

4:15 “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.”

Now we begin to understand the purposes Jesus had

Jesus tests the woman by saying:

04:16 Go, call your husband, and come here.

As a good practicing Samaritan woman reading the Pentatheuch, the woman did follow the law “Do no lie” like many Jews did not.

04:17 The woman answered, I have no husband.”

So the Samaritans obviously are not the “lost people” as Jesus called them.

Jesus said to her, You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have, is not your husband. This you have said truly.”

Thisfact may reveal why the Jews regard Samaritans as eretic

04:19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”

About the Samaritan holy mountain Mount Gerizim

04:21 Jesus said to her,

“Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father.
You worship that which you don’t know.
We worship that 
which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. (ed. Jesus and his disciples)
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers
. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

04:25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,”  “When he has come, he will declare to us all things.”

04:26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.

At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?”

The Samaritan woman left Jesus to let him talk with his disciples.

So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”

Inhabitants of Sychar comes to Jesus

04:30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”

The food metaphore

04:32 But he said to them,

I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

04:33 The disciples therefore said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

04:34 Jesus said to them,

“My food is to  do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work.  Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus stayed with The Sychar Samaritans  

04:39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Jesus said later in Galilee,

“Unless you see signs and wonders,
you will in no way believe.”

The samaritans did not need any miracle to believe in him. His words and kerygma was enough.

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conclusion

I think that this part of John shares a important part of Jesus Kerygma.

it tells about

  • Jesus respect for women. As shown elsewhere.
  • Jesus’ good relation with the Samaritans
  • Jesus respecting the Samaritans despite being regarded as eretics at his time
  • where you pray (In Jerusalem our on mount Gerezim) that has no importance
  • God as spirit and praying in spirit
  • Jesus message about living water and food.
  • the Samaritans  that did not ask for signs.
  • a Samaritan women that for some reason had  several husbands
  • Ta samaritan women who were allowed to stay near jews men
  • Samaritan men who listened to women.
  • Samaritans becoming Christians.

Matthew 10:5-6 tells that Jesus said:

5 ‘Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town6 go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”

Jesus  obviously did order to avoid Samaria  because it was dangerous. I presume that it was because it was a waste of time as he wanted to convert Sinners and the Lost sheep of the House of Israel.” And he regarded the Samaritans to be good people as he referred to when talking about the good samaritan to a lawyer as described by Luke 10:25-37

Why Jew disciples?

I wonder why Jesus choosed Jews as disciples.  I presume it was because he was only  interested in talking with the “lost people of Israel”, the  Jews.

I he have had choosen Samaritan disciples

If he he had choosen Samaritans as disciples, his kerygma would maybe not have had the spreading it had. The Jews were at power in Israel and had a quite good relation with the Romans.

It is a pity because with the Samaritans we would not have had such  discrimination of women around in the world.

For humanity (men) to mature, the women had to suffer until today.

At the end, the Jews still today do not accept Jesus as their Messiah. And that may have contributed to the widespread antisemitism and maybe also to the holocaust.