John 4:5-42 Woman at Well

Resistance is Fertile: Seeds for Lent 2002
Week 3, Resisiting Nationalism : Jesus becomes a Samaratin
Credo Cafe, led by David Fagg and Marcus Curnow
Biblical Text: John 4:
World Texts: Reconciliation Australia website
Revised Common Lectionary: Year A, Third Sunday in Lent


Chiastic Structure
4-6 Labour (kekopiakos)
• Jews Samaritans, 2 Kings 17
• Labour
• Drawing – link to Cana
7-18 woman surprised at words/food
• disciples economy vs. Jesus vs. 32, 6:5
• Contrast response of Nicodemus/disciples
• Literal vs. symbolic
19-24 Spirit and Truth
• husbands or morality: John 8
• Marriage as metaphor Jer 2, 2 Kings 17:30-31
• Prophet: personal or public
• Mountain= national identity
• Woman = Mary (2:4 Cana; 19:26 Cross)
• “we who know” jews or johns community?
25-34 Disciples surprised by words/food
• IAM, 1st of 7, to Samaratin woman, disciples miss
• Contrast with Jewish response
• Food and the will of God
35-38 Labour
• Isaiah
• Gathering
• Coming to you
39-42 Epilogue
The Aboriginal Woman at the Well
A contextual re-write based on John 4, Seeds for Lent 2002
Now when Jesus learned that the political and religious bureaucrats had heard, “Jesus is making and baptising more disciples than John,” (although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptised) – he left Melbourne and headed out back to the bush. But it was necessary for him to go through an Aboriginal settlement. So he came to an Aboriginal settlement, near a controversial and contested piece of land. A bottle shop had been built there, blocking a spring that was considered a sacred site. Having laboured on his journey, Jesus was sitting down, it was about noon.
An Aboriginal woman came to get a drink, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Aboriginal woman said to him, “How is it that you, an Anglo- Aussie, ask me, an Aboriginal woman for a drink? (Anglo-Aussies and Aboriginal people don’t share things in common.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him “Fella, you’re obviously not buying, you’ve got no esky, and the spring there is blocked. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestors who gave us this spring, or Burke and Wills? Are you Bush Tucker Man ?”
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks here will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I give will never be thirsty. The water I give will become a spring of water inside them, gushing up to eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Fella, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty, or have to keep coming here to drink.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
The woman answered, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’, for you have had a number of husbands. (…What between the European colonisers; the missionaries; the welfare bureaucrats; the grog and mining companies;) and the one you have now (…The New World Order & Global Economy) is not your husband. What you’ve said is true.”
The woman said to him, “Fella, I reckon you’re a prophet. Our God of the Dreaming gave us a law to respect the land and we lived in harmony with it for thousands of years. You Aussie-Anglos say that Captain Cook found the land for God, King and Country and his new law means you own the land and that this is what people ought to respect.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when one law will not be held over and against another in order to respect the Creator of the Land. You worship what you call ‘The Dreaming’. We worship that which has been made know to us; for the Creator has revealed salvation through the Jews. But the hour comes, and is here now, when fair dinkum followers will respect the Creator in spirit and truth, for God seeks these types to be his worshippers. God is a Spirit, and those who respect him must show it in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes,” (who is called Christ). “When he has come, he will reveal to us all things.”
Jesus said to her, “I AM the one, here, speaking to you.” At this, his disciples came back. They marvelled that he was speaking with a Aboriginal woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” So the woman left her drink, and went away to the settlement, and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”
They went out of the settlement, and were coming to him. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” So his disciples said one to another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to complete his unfinished business. Don’t you say, ‘This is a long term issue, reconciliation is still a long way off?’ Fair dinkum, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, they are ripe for reconciliation. Those who reap are receiving wages and gathering fruit to eternal life; so that those who have sown and those who now reap may celebrate together. For the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t laboured. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.”
From that settlement many of the Aboriginals believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, ‘He told me everything that I did.” So when the Aboriginals came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is truly the Christ, the Leader of the Australian people.”

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One Reply to “John 4:5-42 Woman at Well”

  1. Hi there,
    I can see what you are trying to achieve with your rewrite of John 4:5-42. However I feel that you haven’t totally incorporated the subject matter into your writing. Instead of clarifying the message in the story I feel you’ve hampered its true relevance.
    A suggestion would be to spend some more time with an Aboriginal Australian and listen to how and what they talk about, see where they live, and incorporate that into your writings.
    I appreciate that you are trying to bridge a cultural gap in our society, and with a little more research I’m sure your writing will do just that. If you would like further feedback don’t hesitate to email me at: omera80@hotmail.com
    God Bless!
    Omera-Faith London…
    Indigenous Australian Writer

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