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The Samaritan woman is named as Photina in the Orthodox Church and venerated as a saint. The location of Sychar is disputed. Some commentators identify it as the modern town Askar, whereas others believe it to be Shechem. There are two parallel journeys from no faith ; , to partial faith ; , to complete faith ; , Firstly in a Jewish context and then in a non-Jewish one. The entire piece is framed by examples of complete faith by Mary and the Gentile official. Anointing symbolised being set apart, or made holy, in order to represent the people before YHWH, their God.
Jewish hope turned to a restoration of national symbols, Temple, land, Torah and rescue from national enemies Dan Water held cosmological meaning in ancient Near Eastern creation myths, e. It was from the waters of chaos that God brought order in the Creation Gen 1 and saved Noah from the waters of the Flood Gen Water also held ritual meaning, for cleansing and purification, such as in the temple rituals c.
John Finally, living water can refer to the Holy Spirit, which is how Jesus uses it in this passage. John hints at this in , but makes it clear in John connects with the Old Testament tradition of living water flowing from the temple Zech ; Ezek 47 , and looks forward to the water of life Rev Jesus transcends both expectations because the living water will not flow from either mountain, but from Christ himself. The story begins in Judea and the water theme is continued with the symbolic waters of baptism.
This section transitions from Judea to Galilee which required travelling through Samaria. Carson explains that this would be the normal route for Jews travelling between Judea and Galilee, rather than a detour across the Jordan and avoiding Samaria as described by some commentators. That Jesus had to pass through Samaria v. The woman approaches the well during the day, in contrast to Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night. She is a woman, of bad character and a Samaritan. Jesus transcends these social barriers in order to accomplish his mission. Again there is a contrast with Nicodemus — a Jew, a ruler and a man.
In an apparent contradiction, the disciples went into Sychar to buy food. Carson explains that this could suggest they were less strict in their dealings with Samaritans. Furthermore certain foods, such as dry foods, were less easily defiled. She does not have faith in Jesus and does not recognise who is speaking to her. She only sees a weary Jewish traveller.
She is possibly mocking Jesus when she asks if he is greater than Jacob. In contrast, those who drink from the water that Jesus offers will never be thirsty again v. Jesus reveals more about himself by changing the conversation to ask her about her husband. Given the matrimonial setting this is not an abrupt change of subject. The woman now has a partial faith in Jesus and embarks in a theological debate with him about the true place to worship.
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Some commentators regard this as a deflection from talking about her past. But Keener and others contend that she does want to discuss theology. Having the previous understanding that the Samaritan way of worship was true, to be confronted by a Jewish prophet requires an answer. Jesus calls for true worship in spirit and truth. A God who is spirit can only be worshipped in spirit and truth, which is made possible by the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The dialogue is interrupted by the return of the disciples. The woman now has complete faith and returns to the town to tell the people about Jesus. Leaving her water jar behind she is now more interested in the living water.
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There is an irony here because whilst the disciples are being taught by Jesus, the woman is in the town witnessing. Jesus uses harvest imagery to explain the urgency of his mission c.
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Matt This illustrates the point just made by Jesus about the readiness of the harvest. Jews and Samaritans each believed their theology was true. They were both descended from Jacob and both held the Pentateuch in common. Jesus said he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel Matt As part of the new Israel God was calling the Samaritans back into the fold.
The Christian church today has been divided for many centuries. There are many doctrinal issues that separate the denominations, but there is also much that we share in common. Is there a common point that we could return to? When confronted with our own sin we can be guilty of trying to deflect the conversation by speaking in general terms.
The disciples were being taught about mission, but the Samaritan woman was actually doing it. There comes the point when the way to learn is to actually do rather than just study. Jesus broke through social barriers in the dialogue with the woman. Issues of gender, morality and ethnicity should not be obstacles in proclaiming the Gospel.
The story of the Samaritan woman at the well is a story of how faith can be transformed when the risk to navigate social barriers is taken. Jesus demonstrated a willingness to dialogue with the woman and share the living water of the Holy Spirit. Anderson, Robert T. Myers and Astrid B.
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Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, Bauckham, Richard. The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple. Beasley-Murray, George R. John; Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, TX: Word, Incorporated, Brady, Monica L. Jenney, Timothy P. Josephus, Flavius. He calls himself Ulf—as good a name as any, he thinks—and Officer Gunnhildur, recently promoted from her post in rural Iceland to Reykjavik's Serious Crime Unit, is tasked with hunting down escaped convict Long Ommi, who has embarked on a spree of violent score-settling in and around the city.
Meanwhile, she's also investigating the murder of a fitness guru in her own city-center apartment. As Gunna A promising young singer is found dead in a clearing in a forest, gruesomely murdered—her larynx cut out, and an antique music box placed carefully atop her body, playing a mysterious lullaby that sounds familiar, but that no one can quite place.
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