6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Jesus' desire to have a private and one-to-one chat with us

The Great Campaigner and Peoples’ Attitude towards Him


I am sure many of you have met a campaigner or a promoter either out there in the community as you go about your private or official business or you may have come their way on the phone- chatting with you; in a bid to persuade you.

One thing campaigners or promoters like to do is that they are eager to talk to you on what they are passionate about and would want you to support, buy or sign-in for it. You may be busy about your daily mundane routine and you see them dying or eager to talk to you. Like some of us, we quickly dismiss them because we’ve something else to do.

This morning we are going to meet a campaigner and a promoter, who was out there in the community and trying to ‘sell’ and ‘promote’ his ‘services’ and ‘goods’. Therefore, today’s topic would be-

The Great Campaigner and Peoples’ Attitude towards Him

My text will be based on today’s Gospel reading, i.e. John chapter 4 verses 5 to 42.

Let us pray:

Jesus Christ, our great campaigner, in your passionate bid to have a dialogue with us, we pray that we will give you listening ears and attentive minds. Our Master and God, speak now your servants are waiting. Master, let you voice be heard. We ask this prayer, in your precious and holy Name- amen.

An Overview of the Message

I have taken a 2-prong approach in discussing the topic- The Great Campaigner and Peoples’ Attitude towards Him.

I will first of all, explain the text in light of the context at that time as well as in light of today’s perspective; for the Bible is relevant to every generation- the yesterday generation, the today and tomorrow.

I will then focus on the spiritual truths we can learn from the characters in the text and how their dispositions can shape our relationship with God.

The Text

The narrative in the text is pretty familiar. The two major characters are Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Jesus can be seen here as a campaigner. He strategically located himself at a spot (a water well) and waited for the opportunity to ‘sell’ or ‘promote’ his ‘product’. He was tired because of the trek but not tired to talk to someone, on what he is passionate about.

Jesus is omniscient, i.e. of infinite knowledge. He knew someone will come to that well at such an odd time, noon time, when many women (whose duties in that kind of culture and at that time, were fetching water in the morning and seldom in the afternoon; as well as cooking and being at home to take care of domestic issues, etc). Jesus knew that someone would be out there at noon time to fetch water- someone who was afraid to be with her women folks in the morning hours to draw water from the well. Therefore he strategically located himself at this popular spot, Joseph’s water well- to have a one-to-one chat with this person.

Who was that person? She was a Samaritan woman. We don’t know her first name, or middle or last name. I will therefore give her the initials TSW, which for me mean- The Sorrowful Woman. I will tell you why I prefer to call her TSW- The Sorrowful Woman. She was indeed sorrowful, since her fellow women didn’t want to associate with her as a result of her past and current social life. They had begrudged her because she had snatched their husbands and boyfriends. Each time they see her they call her names- ‘you man snatcher’... and make funny faces at her. She therefore didn’t mingle with the other women in her community; no wonder she would come to fetch water at noon instead of the morning hours.

Jesus knew who she was and yet waited at this spot just to chat with her. To add to TSW’s sorrows, she was a Samaritan and not a Jewess. Jews and Samaritans didn’t see eye to eye. A typical Jew will see a Samaritan as an adulterated Jew, someone from an ethnic group that have syncretised (merged) Judaism with other religious traditions. For this reason, Jews didn’t like Samaritans. Yet Jesus, a Jew, was out there to talk to this woman. A respected man of Jesus’ calibre (being a Rabbi i.e. teacher) talking to this kind of woman was seen as a taboo.

Irrespective of all these societal labelling and constructs this woman had and found herself, Jesus was out there to have a private and one-to-one chat with her.

What was her response? She was all ears to listen to Jesus. She put her pitcher or bucket down and listened to him. She didn’t initially understand what Jesus was driving home, yet she kept asking (what may seem like silly questions).

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