In tomorrow's gatheirng we'll explore this story of Jesus' interaction with a Samaritan woman in John 4. I'm wondering who we are in the story?
I posed this question to a few friends and one responded:
The disapproval of some disciples, "Why is Jesus talking to her?"
Perhaps the judgment of other women in Samaria, making her so uncomfortable, she performed this manual task at the hottest and most inconvenient part of the day ... wanting not to be seen.
The men of Samaria, hearing her testimony but discounting it because of her role in society or perhaps her specifically -- meaning her witness drove them directly to Jesus because they didn't believe her.
The woman herself, unwilling to believe what Jesus was saying as if it were a slogan or soundbite for her to either accept or reject; rather, it was an unproven assertion that she was willing to respectfully interrogate. In the sense of how Paul is described in Acts, she got a bit of the Berean in her.
Even the perspective of the Gospel writer himself, who tells the story in such a way that -- especially when lined up to Mark's Gospel -- she might be the first person outside of his circle that Jesus ever sent out to share the Good News. (He doesn't use any entre nous speech to keep her quiet as he does in other accounts.) Yet, at the same time, John seems to sidestep the question of this very early "preacher" being a woman ... or John put it in initially and "church fathers" took it out or otherwise de-emphasized it.
Sunday, July 5, 2020 scripture reading
John 4:5-30 (Inclusive Bible)
[Jesus] left Judea and returned to Galilee. 4 This meant that he had to pass through Samaria. 5 He stopped at Sychar, a town in Samaria, near the tract of land Jacob had given to his son Joseph, 6 and Jacob’s Well was there. Jesus, weary from the journey, came and sat by the well. It was around noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 The disciples had gone off to the town to buy provisions. 9 The Samaritan woman replied, “You’re a Jew. How can you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?”—since Jews had nothing to do with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered, “If only you recognized God’s gift, and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink instead, and he would have given you living water.” 11 “If you please,” she challenged Jesus, “you don’t have a bucket and this well is deep. Where do you expect to get this ‘living water’? 12 Surely you don’t pretend to be greater than our ancestors Leah and Rachel and Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it with their descendants and flocks?” 13 Jesus replied, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give them will never be thirsty; no, the water I give will become fountains within them, springing up to provide eternal life.” 15 The woman said to Jesus, “Give me this water, so that I won’t grow thirsty and have to keep coming all the way here to draw water.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband and then come back here.” 17 “I don’t have a husband,” replied the woman. “You’re right—you don’t have a husband!” Jesus exclaimed. 18 “The fact is, you’ve had five, and the man you’re living with now is not your husband. So what you’ve said is quite true.” 19 “I can see you’re a prophet,” answered the woman. 20 “Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you people claim that Jerusalem is the place where God ought to be worshiped.” 21 Jesus told her, “Believe me, the hour is coming when you’ll worship Abba God neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You people worship what you don’t understand; we worship what we do understand—after all, salvation is from the Jewish people. 23 Yet the hour is coming—and is already here—when real worshipers will worship Abba God in Spirit and truth. Indeed, it is just such worshipers whom Abba God seeks. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Jesus, “I know that the Messiah—the Anointed One—is coming and will tell us everything.” 26 Jesus replied, “I who speak to you am the Messiah.” 27 The disciples, returning at this point, were shocked to find Jesus having a private conversation with a woman. But no one dared to ask, “What do you want of him?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 The woman then left her water jar and went off into the town. She said to the people, 29 “Come and see someone who told me everything I have ever done! Could this be the Messiah?” 30 At that, everyone set out from town to meet Jesus.