As I work through my current passage in John (4.1-26) I’m reading through various commentaries AFTER I’ve completed my own study of the passage [after is super important, we want to stand on the shoulders of giants who came before us, but even more importantly, we want the Holy Spirit to illuminate the passage for us in our time and experience]. Pink points out the contrast between Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus and his interaction with this unnamed Samaritan woman. The contrast is intentional and important.
Nicodemus Samaritan Woman
1. Nicodemus is named 1. Samaritan woman is not named
2. A man of rank 2. A commoner
3. A favored Jew 3. A despised Samaritan
4. A man of high reputation 4. A woman with a poor reputation
5. Nicodemus seeks out Christ 5. Christ seeks out the woman
6. Nicodemus comes by night 6. The woman comes at mid-day
7. Christ’s message: You must be born again 7. Message: I have a “gift of God”
Is there a message in this? I think so. The message is that Christ comes to you where you are–exactly where you are isn’t important, Christ will come there–and brings you the message that you need to hear. To the self-righteous Pharisee, Christ says: You must be born again; to the despised Samaritan woman, he says: I have a gift for you from God. The self-righteous Pharisee must seek Christ out, the despised woman stumbles–as it were–upon our Lord, who is waiting–we are sure–for her. Christ’s ways and methods are many, his aim, one: To draw men and woman of every stripe and social class to faith in himself.