How was Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-26) countercultural in His day? Why is this of significance? What type(s) of people might it seem odd for you to have an intimate conversation with in your culture today? Why?

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    • #95303755
      Laura
      Participant

      In His day Jews rarely spoke with Samaritans. Also, it would have been improper for a good man to meet alone with a woman, much less an immoral woman. Jesus crossed those barriers to tell her He was the Messiah! Since Jesus preached the kingdom of God is at hand and he said He came to bring good news then the significance is that there is no one out of his reach of salvation in Him. Today, there is great division among people who have received the Covid vaccine and those who have not. The bottom line to be invited to a gathering is whether or not you have received the vaccine. Conversations between the haves and have nots is strained and tense rather than intimate. People are afraid and are seeing other’s choices as unloving and this is creating a barrier.

    • #95298638
      Kristianne
      Participant

      Men wouldn’t have spoken to women, Jews wouldn’t have spoken to Samaritan, rabi wouldn’t speak to someone in open sin. Jesus wasn’t like the rest.

    • #95283645
      Kristen
      Participant

      The Samaritan woman was completely outside of Jesus’s (or any Jewish man’s) social sphere. This is one of my favorite stories of the entire New Testament. First, Jesus condescends to speak to a Samaritan woman. A Jewish man speaking to any unaccompanied woman would have been a bit taboo, but the fact that this woman was of a marginalized group makes this even more sensational. Jesus considers no one “beneath ” him or outside of his sphere. A fair comparison for today might be transgender and nonbinary folk. These people have been outcasts from society, including churches because they might look different than a sys-gender person or they might be considered sinful or beyond saving. I can’t imagine Jesus rejecting or ignoring any human, period. This story makes a huge impact. He effectively shows his followers that no person is off-limits. Everyone belongs with Christ.

    • #95282615
      Larissa
      Participant

      Jewish people simply did not interact with Samaritans. They absolutely hated one another and would avoid any contact with each other. Jesus not only was interacting with a Samaritan, but a Samaritan woman, which was even more countercultural. Taking it a step further, this woman was connected to having 5 Husbands and would have been looked upon as highly immoral. To make things even more radical, they were interacting with no other supervision or people around. Even the woman herself is astounded that Jesus as a Jew would approach her and even request a drink from her. This is all so significant for both her and to all the those around Jesus’ ministry because of a couple things. First, for the woman this is significant because she has obviously tried to find a solace through men (5 husbands!). Here, she is engaged in this exchange with the one true perfect man and God, the only one who can provide for her most intimate needs of love, hope, and acceptance! For those around Jesus, both Jew and Gentile, they would see that the nature of God and His kingdom is to save the sick and the lost. When I think about people that would be looked upon as odd for me to personally interact with, as a Christian woman, I believe criminals in prisons would fall into this camp as well as those engaging in homosexual lifestyles. LGBTQ and the like are becoming a pronounced people group in our society of which Christians are fundamentally opposed to their lifestyle.

    • #95282533
      Susan
      Participant

      When Jesus comes upon the Samaritan woman in John 4:4-26, He is tired and thirsty. Normally, a Jewish man would not interact with a Samaritan, and especially not a Samaritan woman. She even says as much to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan, How can YOU ask ME for a drink?” This notion was preposterous to the woman, but we know by now that Jesus has an ulterior motive. Jesus speaks cryptically about giving her living Water to drink, and the woman can’t grasp his meaning. So, he states more plainly, “Whoever drinks the water that I give them will never thirst. What I give them will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:13-14) Then, still confused, she asks for this amazing living water! Then, he reveals to her that he is the Messiah, both in speaking about her 5 husbands, and her present living condition and he states, in Verse 26, “I, the one speaking to you, I am he.” So, three reasons primarily stand out, her sex (a woman), her upbringing/ ethnicity (Samaritan), and her immoral living situation. Jesus came to see, and to save the lost, of which she is one.

    • #94313
      Our Daily Bread
      Keymaster
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