Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Senior Seminar Daily Submission 3

Ben Currin
Senior Seminar: Gospel of John
Dr. Dwaine Greene
Sept. 19, 2002

(John 4:4-42)

“Information and Insights:”

Jesus leaves the comforts of Traditional Judaism and moves to the outsiders of the Contemporary Religion of His day (O’Day, 563).
One might find this easier understandable as being the first time the Bible jumps it’s emphasis on the Jews to emphasizing the Gentiles (Smith, 109). (This statement has been paraphrased from D. Moody Smith, Jr., but Smith does reaffirm the above statement about Jesus preaching to outsiders in this stage of His ministry just as O’Day said, but in different terms).
Verse 4 is a linking device in the text in order to get Jesus from Galilee to Samaria (O’Day, 565).
A similarly interesting commentary about Jesus heading from Galilee to Samaria states the following: “(Concerning:) And he must needs go through Samaria [John 4:4].That word must attracts our attention. Why must He go through Samaria? In order to reach a certain woman. Listen to Him in verse 34, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” He must go through Samaria because it is the Father’s will for Him to go through Samaria. His destination, apparently, was Cana of Galilee where He had made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick, and He is headed in that direction. But He must go through Samaria.”# (McGee, Nelson’s Electronic Bible Reference Library/Logos Library System: Thru The Bible Commentary---Section heading: Jesus Interviews The Woman At The Well In Sychar {(Third Word)}).
The dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan is one of the longest dialogues in the Gospel of John and is divided into two sections, which are: Verses 7-15 and Verses 16-20---each consists of exchanges between Jesus and the Samaritan, there are 13 in all. (O’Day, 565).
In Verse 8, the readers are made aware of the fact that the Disciples of Jesus are absent in this narrative. (Smith, 111).
# - J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

The term Samaritan is closely related to it’s ancient counterpart, which is: SAMARITAN-4541 Samareáiteµs (3), inhabitant of Samaria (and) SAMARITANS-8118 ShoÆmƒroÆnéÆy (1), Shomeronite,4541 Samareáiteµs (6), inhabitant of Samaria # (Strong, Nelson’s Electronic Bible Reference Library/Logos Library System: New Strong’s Guide To Bible Words---Section heading: Samaritan.).
The main issue of this narrative is the reason why Jesus was talking to this Samaritan woman, when the Samaritans were the enemies of the Jews. Matthew Henry describes the reason in the context of Jesus’ day as such: “He waives her objection of the feud between the Jews and Samaritans, and takes no notice of it. Some differences are best healed by being slighted, and by avoiding all occasions of entering into dispute about them. Christ will convert this woman, not by showing her that the Samaritan worship was schismatical (though really it was so), but by showing her her own ignorance and immoralities, and her need of a Saviour.”# (Henry, Nelson’s Electronic Bible Reference Library/Logos Library System: Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Bible---Section on: John 4:4.).
“Explorations and Implications:”
John 4:4-42 is an important passage, because it explains the shift in Jesus’ ministry from dealing with mainly Jews to moving into the territory of the Gentiles. This is how early Christianity was formed, because Jesus showed the importance of all people. The Samaritan figures into this narrative in that way and also, serves as an example of how Jesus took the commandment: ‘Love thy enemies’ to heart and that we should follow His example. Most of the time, these days, we don’t show any compassion or mercy towards our enemies, when we should. We’ve killed so many people on account of their beliefs whether or not they are right or wrong. We support so many causes which breed hatred instead of love such as supporting the race wars in Israel, where the Jews force the Arabs from their homes and make them live on the other side of the Gaza Strip, where it’s dirty and un-useable and then we and the Jews wonder why the Arabs suicide bomb them. We’ve supported the British cause in the struggles of Ireland, because of the IRA being so called “terrorists,” eventhough the British came into Ireland and raped many Irish women, killed some of them with their children, but mostly killed the men and took over IRISH land and made many Irish children orphans. They also are accounted for the many losses suffered during the potato famine, because they forced the Irish to work IRISH land which the British controlled and got to eat all the best foods they could, while the Irish only got a strict diet of cheap meat and potatoes. The British also stole IRISH homesteads and land and claimed it for their own, while forcing the Irish to pay rent to
# - James Strong, New Strong’s guide to Bible words [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.
#- Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

live on their OWN land---driving many of the Irish people to conditions of poverty, so that they (the many Irish people whom were poor) died of starvation. This was a serious factor for the death toll in the time of the Great Famine, so who are the terrorists? Yes, we have a great deal to learn from Jesus’ dealing with the woman at the well---it’s the perfect example of loving your enemies!
It also, is an example of how Jesus paved the way for Paul opening up to the Gentiles. This has nothing to do with saving the so-called “lost,” however. Sometimes we tend to try to justify this philosophy by falsely claiming that it is the mission of all churches. (Sometimes these so-called lost people are even more ahead of us). This poses the question---whose to judge who is lost and who is saved? Only God knows that answer---not any man nor any man-made churches. It’s easy to claim anything and to justify it in the name of man-made religion. We go to so much trouble to bring self-pride to ourselves to the fact that we are saved and believing that our way of doing things is right. We want so badly to go save people by going to them and saying that “hey come believe in Jesus or you are going to hell,” and leave them their to die, because of the fact that we won’t money or some other prideful thing, when that doesn’t meet the immediate needs of the souls that we are trying to reach out to. Some of these so-called lost people are starving, naked and without shelter. Who cares about going to hell or not, when they are in need of more physical things first---this is not to say that physical things are over spiritual things, mind you, it’s just to attest to the fact that they need to be fed, etc. before dealing with the choice of salvation. They could die of starvation before they have the time to consider what you tell them and decide on a choice. (A non-direct example of claiming man-made doctrines as truth is how we have started making any ole churches to suit the people’s needs instead of God’s. It’s gotten so bad in the recent ages that pretty soon we’ll be doing drive through baptisms and serve fries and soda for a drive through version of communion and even later we’ll hold drive in services that are anything but preaching. This example ties in with last time, when the passage was on Jesus dealing with the moneylenders in the temple. It shows how John’s passages can relate if you let them). In conclusion, the main reason for this narrative in John is to show how Jesus loved all people and how we should do the same. It also, showed how Jesus came for all people and with love in His mind.

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