Monday, April 27, 2009

"You talkin' to me?" (John 4)

It's noon. You may be a bit hung over. Or, maybe you go to the well during the heat of the day, to avoid running into any of the other people of the village. You walk up to a man who is obviously worn out, tired, thirsty. He asks for a drink of water. And you say,

"You talkin' to me?"

This conversation is not off to a good start. A polite request is answered with a snub: "Hey, I thought your folks didn't have anything to do with my kind of people." End of conversation?

Then the guy grins back at you, and throws you a curve ball.[1] After the conversation is over, the entire village accepts your invitation to meet the mysterious stranger.

Let's look at the text:
Joh 4:6 Yakup'un kuyusu da oradaydı. İsa, yolculuktan yorulmuş olduğu için kuyunun yanına oturmuştu. Saat on iki sularıydı.
Joh 4:7 Samiriyeli* bir kadın su çekmeye geldi. İsa ona, "Bana su ver, içeyim" dedi.
Joh 4:8 İsa'nın öğrencileri yiyecek satın almak için kente gitmişlerdi.
Joh 4:9 Samiriyeli kadın, "Sen Yahudi'sin, bense Samiriyeli bir kadınım" dedi, "Nasıl olur da benden su istersin?" Çünkü Yahudiler'in Samiriyeliler'le ilişkileri yoktur.
Joh 4:10 İsa kadına şu yanıtı verdi: "Eğer sen Tanrı'nın armağanını ve sana, 'Bana su ver, içeyim' diyenin kim olduğunu bilseydin, sen O'ndan dilerdin, O da sana yaşam suyunu verirdi."
And, let's look at a few words:
  • yolculuktan -- yol is an important Turkish word, meaning road, way, path. Add -cu- and you have traveler. Someone who is characterized by his relationship to the road. Add -luk- to transform this noun into an adjective -- you have a "travelerly" situation. Finally, add the genitive ending -tan to indicate source, root, origin. Something is because of a travelerly situation.
  • yorulmuş olduğu için -- exhausted / he was / because
  • yaşam suyunu -- living water. In the Hebrew language, you never offer someone "water" to drink, but only "running" water. Living water.
You can start a conversation by asking for help. And, if you are a skilled conversationalist, convert initial rejection into lasting friendship.

[1] American idiomatic phrase, from the game of baseball. A "curve ball" moves in an unexpected direction.

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