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“Woman” to Mary at the wedding
When Mary asked Jesus to help her procure wine for a wedding feast He said, “Woman, what wilt thou have me to do for thee?” (John 2:4)Was Jesus being rude to His mother?
According to Bible scholar J. R. Dummelow the word “woman” (in Greek it is also interpreted to mean “lady”) was actually a respectful title that one would use even to address a queen! (Source)
So Jesus was really saying, “Honored lady, how can I help you?”
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night at great personal risk. As a Pharisee he could have lost his social and religious standing for meeting with Jesus. However, despite his beginnings as a secret student of Christ, he later gained the courage to stand up for Jesus publicly:
He spoke up in defense of Jesus’ to a group of angry Pharisees who wanted to seize and possibly arrest Jesus. (John 7:44-51)
When Jesus died Nicodemus helped Joseph of Arimathea bury Him. Nicodemus brought with him 100 pounds of myrrh and aloe. (John 19:39) According to Ellicot’s Commentary for English Readers, these gifts would have been extremely expensive (possibly worth their weight in gold) and in excess of what was necessary for Jesus’ burial. Perhaps this was the offering of a man who regretted not following Jesus more publicly during His life. (Source)
Samaritan woman at the well
Why does it matter that the Samaritan woman was at the well at noon?
Well, the Samaritan woman came to the well at the time she was least likely to see anyone else. Most Samaritans would be at home for the customary noon-time meal and rest from working in the heat. This is why most women went to the well in the morning – because the weather was mild and they could enjoy socializing with the rest of the women from the village.
But this woman had been married five times (meaning either she had five dead husbands or had been divorced at least once) and was currently living with a man to whom she was not married. Such behavior would have made her a social pariah so she likely came when she knew no other women would present.
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