Last Post we saw how Jesus shared about the gift he had for the woman at the well, and the gift he has for us, the water that becomes a well inside, a well of living water that springs up into everlasting life.
The 7th Man In Her Life
After he spoke of that gift, Jesus talked about the six men in the Samaritan woman’s life: her previous five husbands and the lover she’s not married to currently. She doesn’t know it yet but he brings this up so he can become the seventh man in her life. Jesus made her aware of her sin so she can receive him as her Savior.
We see that it’s not until he demonstrates his knowledge of her sin that she begins to recognize who he is. “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet,” she says, after he reveals that he knows all about the troubled part of her life. That’s how it is for us. Until we realize our sin, we don’t recognize our Savior. But then she does what we so often do when our sins are brought to our attention. She redirects the conversation to a religious controversy.
The Controversy Play
“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship,” the Samaritan woman said.
That was the religious controversy of the day. Because the Samaritans took the Jewish scriptures and did some editing. They rewrote God’s words to fit their culture, a culture influenced by the Assyrians. And they made a few changes to relocate the holy places to locations that were more geographically convenient to Samaria, changing the focal point of worship from Jerusalem to Mount Gerizim.
That’s how we so often handle our sin. We bring up a recent scandal in the life of a Christian leader, or we talk about the crusades, or the inquisition, or the bad behavior of anyone, anyone at all–anyone but me.
What Jesus Says To The Controversy Play
Right away Jesus answers her comment about the controversy, but his answer is brief. Mostly he talks to the woman at the well about what really matters. He says,
“…the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.”
Jesus says that what really matters is becoming a person God seeks, and God is seeking those who worship him in spirit and truth.
The Kind Of Person God Seeks
I don’t know about you, but I want to become the kind of person God is looking for. If you do too then worship the Lord in spirit. Worship the Lord with enthusiasm. Ask God for His inspiration when you worship. Ask Him to send His Holy Spirit to help you worship. Do whatever you have to do to worship Him in spirit.
And worship Him in truth. Worship Him accurately. The Samaritans were worshipping but Jesus pointed out, they knew not what they worshipped. Their worship missed the mark. Jesus himself is the most accurate picture of God we have. Jesus is God’s Truth. (see John 14:6) So look for him when you read your Bible, he’s there in both the Old Testament and the New. Read about Jesus in the gospels. Study your Bible to worship as accurately as you can. Worship God in truth.
God seeks those who do both. When we worship with enthusiasm, but without truth, things can get squirrelly. But when we have truth without enthusiasm, passion, and love for the Lord, we become drier than an archeological dig in the Judean desert.
God wants us to do both. Those who do both, those are the kind of people He’s looking for.
I hope and pray you want to become one of those people.
“…true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” –Jesus Christ, John 4:23
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Image via Mark Hunter – Creative Commons