Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42) : a paradigmatic encounter for discipleship [μαθητής] and witness [μαρτυρία]

Smuts, Ricardo (2019-04)

Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Theology. Dept. of Old and New Testament.

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Gospel of John relates intense dialogues, often long and complexly difficult, between Jesus and the most diverse people. The first is with Nicodemus, in chapter 3; then we encounter the Samaritan woman (4), the man born blind (9), Martha and Mary, upon the death of their brother, Lazarus (11). They are called dialogues of “revelation” because they become occasions of “self-revelation”, wherein Jesus, while talking with one of these personalities, reveals Himself, and tells the paradigmatic reader something of Himself. To Nicodemus, who knows all the laws, who goes to Him by night, Jesus speaks of himself as a free and limitless love, which brings you where you do not know; to the Samaritan woman, who has a great thirst for love, who comes there with the baggage of her wounded and complex history, He speaks to her of living water; to the blind man he reveals Himself as light; to the sisters of Bethany, who are weeping at the death of their dear one, Jesus is resurrection and life. Modern disciples are thus affirmed that Jesus reaches and enters every human story. He is at one with all humanity: and thus, He reveals Himself. And while He reveals Himself, something happens in the one He is speaking to, who becomes involved in the dialogue, so in the end he finds himself different from what he was at the beginning of the encounter: life is transformed by it and salvation happens in every story. However, it is the particular encounter with the Samaritan woman that introduces the paradigmatic reader (PR) to revealed knowledge of Jesus. The dialogue in the encounter is in fact constructed in such a way as to gradually bring out the truth about Jesus as rabbi, prophet, Messiah, etc. All of this affirms that the “character” of the Samaritan in John 4, is open to various readings and interpretations, as various stereotypes and even literary intertexts hint at. Nevertheless, her encounter and dialogue with Jesus transforms her. As inquisitiveness moves to marvel, the focus of her life moves from debatable eros to that of discipleship and witness in the manner she engages her townspeople. This latter manifestation appeals to her allure as a character in the FG, in that she is presented as a model of and for a transformative encounter with Jesus and thus leads the paradigmatic reader to significant insights into the dynamics of discipleship and witness in the FG. As a character in the FG, she is depicted as someone who learns from her encounter with Jesus a profoundly new purpose for her own life, and as a direct result of that encounter, she exemplifies qualities of a disciple and consequentially offers partial witness about him to her own townspeople.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Evangelie van Johannes hou lewendige tweesprake, dikwels lank en ingewikkeld, tussen Jesus en die mees verskillende mense. Die eerste is by Nikodemus in hoofstuk 3; dan ontmoet ons die Samaritaan vrou (4), die man wat blind gebore is (9), Martha en Maria, na die dood van hul broer Lasarus (11). Hulle word samespreekers van “herlewing” genoem omdat hulle geleenthede word van selfvertroue, waarin Jesus, terwyl Hy met een van hierdie persoonlikhede praat, Homself openbaar, en vertel die paradigmatiese leser iets van Homself. Vir Nikodemus, wat al die wette ken, wat in die nag na Hom toe gaan, Jesus praat van homself as 'n vrye en onbeperkte liefde, wat jou bring waar jy nie weet nie; aan die Samaritaanvrou wat 'n groot dors na liefde het, wat daar kom met die toerusting van haar gewonde en komplekse geskiedenis, Hy praat van lewende water met haar; aan die blinde man openbaar Hy Homself as lig; Aan die susters van Betánië, wat huil by die dood van hul geliefde, Jesus is die opstanding en die lewe. Moderne dissipels word dus bekragtig dat Jesus elke menslike storie bereik en betree. Hy is vereenig met die ganse mensdom: en daarom openbaar Hy Homself. En terwyl Hy Homself openbaar, gebeur daar iets in die een waarmee Hy praat, wat betrokke word by die tweespraak, so op die end vind Hy Homself anders as wat Hy aan die begin van die ontmoeting was: die lewe is omskep daardeur en verlossing vind plaas in elke storie. Inteendeel is dit egter in die besondere ontmoeting met die Samaritaanse vrou, wat die paradigmatiese leser bekend stel om kennis van Jesus te openbaar. Die tweespraak in die ontmoeting is eintlik so saamgestel dat die waarheid oor Jesus as rabbi, profeet, Messias, geleidelik uitgebring word. Dit alles bevestig dat die “karakter” van die Samaritaan vrou in Johannes 4 oop is vir verskillende lesings en verklaarings, soos verskillende stereotipes en selfs geletterde intertekste aanduie. Nietemin verander haar ontmoeting en tweespraak met Jesus haar. Soos nuuskierigheid om te verwonder, beweeg die fokus van haar lewe van betwisbare eros tot dié van dissipelskap en getuie op die manier waarop sy met haar dorpsmense betrek. Laasgenoemde openbaring maak 'n beroep op haar aantreklikheid as 'n karakter in die Vierde Evangelie, omdat sy aangebied word as 'n model van en vir 'n transformerende ontmoeting met Jesus en lei die paradigmatiese leser dus betekenisvolle insig in die bewegings van dissipelskap en getuie in die Vierde Evangelie. As 'n karakter in die Vierde Evangelie word sy uitgebeeld as iemand wat uit haar ontmoeting met Jesus 'n diep nuwe doel vir haar eie lewe leer, en as 'n direkte gevolg van die ontmoeting, illustreer sy eienskappe van 'n dissipel en gee sy gevolglik gedeeltelike getuienis oor Hom na haar eie dorpsmense.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/106036
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