Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 25/03/2011 – 11:58
Year A (2010-2011)
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Chapter: 4
Verse: 4 – 30

“It is likely that there was acute antagonism between the Jews and the Samaritans and that the Jewish establishment looked down on them. They experienced stigma.

It is also important to know that a Jewish teacher (a rabbi) would not be seen talking to a woman in public, let alone a Samaritan woman. A Jewish man having a conversation with a Samaritan woman was a scandal. This was in conflict with religious, cultural and social norms.

• Jesus chooses to break through all boundaries by engaging in a conversation with a Samaritan woman.

• The Samaritan woman does not act the victim. She asserts herself in this open and questioning conversation and in so doing she receives immeasurable grace.

• Jesus, as he has often done before, challenges the status quo which labelled people ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’; ‘chosen’ or ‘rejected’, ‘holy’ or ‘unholy’, by speaking to this woman. Who may speak to whom was not his concern.

• He is thirsty and turns to this woman for water, a person who bears the stigma of being ‘different’.

• Although her gender, religious status, and social standing marginalise her and set her ‘outside the camp’ of mainstream Judaism, Jesus reveals himself to her in a number of steps. He takes his need for water and turns it into a metaphor for saving grace; he meets the woman on a personal level by opening her history but not judging her; he teaches her the nature of true worship (“in spirit and in truth”); and lastly, he reveals his Messianic calling to her – a revelation that is astounding to say the least.

• Jesus invites her into God’s reign by honouring her confession of faith, regardless of cultural, gender and religious taboos.

• Hereby Jesus affirms her humanity and her identity as a bearer of the image of God.”

To think about or discuss: How can we affirm the humanity of someone who is being marginalised by society?

This is an abstract of the sermon guidelines written by D Ackerman and L Joko for World AIDS Day 2005. It can be accessed at this address:

Author: Ackerman D (Dr) and Lundo J
Language: English