In conclusion we may note that Jesus neither excluded people on the basis of race nor ethnicity, on the basis of gender, social status, nor any supposed impurity. Instead he gave new life and healing to those who turned to him, whatever their personal history or place in society. He does it still.
Dr Murray Gow – theologian, pastor and author. Senior Pastor of St Andrews Presbyterian church in Auckland. Former editor of theological and philosophical journal Stimulus. Former professor at Schloss Mittersil Study Centre, Austria. He is the author of the study-book, The Book of Ruth: Its Structure, Theme and Purpose.
 This article is an expanded sermon and appeared in Stimulus 6:1, pp 26f in a slightly different form. Its focus is on John’s story of Jesus’ interaction with an outsider and it does not pretend to engage with all of the critical issues associated with the passage.
For discussion of the comparison between Nicodemus and the woman, see the helpful treatment by Craig L. Blomberg, “The Globalization of Biblical Interpretation: A Test Case – John 3 – 4″ Bulletin for Biblical Research 5 (1995) 1-15, and the literature cited there, but note especially, D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (IVP/Eerdmans, 1991, 166-240; Mary M. Pazdan, “Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman: Contrasting Models of Disciple-ship” Biblical Theology Bulletin 17 (1987) 145-148.
 For details on the interpretation of v. 9, see especially, David Daube, “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman: the meaning of sugcraomai” JBL LXIX (1950) 137-147 followed also by the commentaries of Leon Morris, C.K. Barrett, R.E. Brown, and D.A. Carson. On the other hand, Rudolf Schnackenburg, The Gospel According to St John: Volume One (Crossroad, 1987, p. 425, n. 19) disputes Daube’s translation, preferring the more general, Jews have, in fact, no dealings with Samaritans, but suggests that “underlying the general statement may be the idea that the Jews feared to defile themselves by taking food and drink from Samaritans”.
 D.A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (IVP/Eerdmans, 1991, p. 218). See now also Dorothy A. Lee, “Women as ‘Sinners’: Three Narratives of Salvation in Luke and John” Australian Biblical Review 44 (1996) 1-15 for further development of the theme of Jesus’ interaction with women regarded as ‘sinners’ in his culture.
 On living water see particularly, Rudolf Schnackenburg, The Gospel According to St John: Volume One (Crossroad, 1987, p.p 429-432), C. K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St John (SPCK, 1955, pp. 195-196), R.E. Brown, The Gospel According to John I-XII (Anchor Bible 29; 1966, pp. 178-180). For a deconstructive reading of this text see Stephen D. Moore, “Are there impurities in the living water that the Johannine Jesus dispenses? Deconstruction, Feminism, and the Samaritan Woman” Biblical Interpretation 1, 2 (1993) 207-227.
 R.E. Brown, The Gospel According to John I-XII (Anchor Bible 29; 1966, p. 179) comments, “Johannine symbolism is often ambivalent, especially where two such closely related concepts as revelation and Spirit are involved.”
 C.A. Newsom and S.H. Ringe, edd, The Women’s Bible Commentary (SPCK and Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992, p. 296).
 I use this expression in a very broad sense to cover any sort of loss, including bereavement.
 S. J. Nortj‚, “The role of women in the fourth gospel” Neotestamentica 20 (1986) 25
 A.M. Hunter, The Gospel According to John (Cambridge Bible Commentary, 1965, p. 49)
 Bruce Milne, The Message of John (IVP, 1993, p. 88)
 D.A. Carson, ibid, p. 225.
 Ibid, p. 225. Cf. Otto Betz who says, “Jesus is the true wellspring and the sanctuary of God (John 4, 14). The worship in spirit and truth is therefore not tied to a localized temple, to a mountain chosen by God, but to a person, the ‘Holy One of God’ (John 6, 69) from whom salvation comes” (Otto Betz, “‘To Worship God in Spirit and in Truth’: Reflections on John 4, 20-26″ in Studies on Prayer in Scriptures and in Tradition with Essays in Honor of John M. Oesterreicher, ed. A. Finkel and L. Frizzell, KTAV Publishing, New York, 1981, p. 65)