In describing Jesus as the “Lamb of God that takes away ths sins of the world,” John uses something old, the image of sacrifice, to describe something totally new. Just how new begins to become apparent in chapter four with Jesus talking to a Samaritan.
Samaria was not exactly a hospitable place for Jews. Samaritans and Jews had been in conflict for four hundred years by Jesus’ day. Both claimed to follow the Pentateuch, but the Samaritans claimed the home of the temple should be the mount of blessing, Gerizim (see Deuteronomy 11:29), not “Zion” (or Jerusalem) and had built their own temple to rival that of the Jews. Most Jews, rather than face Samaritan opposition (for an example see Luke 9:51-56) crossed the Jordan and went around Samaira rather than through it.
Jesus’ travel through Samaria was out of the ordinary. His talking to a Samaritan unthinkable. But talking to a “woman” was just astounding. His disciples, finding him engaged in this conversation are simply speechless.
This newness is bound up in the behavior and message of Jesus, but it is his words that cause even the Samaritans to become believers.
The message of Christ is not just that Jesus came, nor just that he loves us nor even just that he died for us. The message of Jesus encompasses everything he taught. Like the royal official at Capernaum, we must take Jesus at his word and be obedient to him, following his will in his way.