Wednesday, March, 30, 2016 | 3:50 PM | by Pastor Rick
Woman at the Well
How do you know you realy love someone?
John 4:19, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’”
Now that she knows He’s a prophet, she feels the conviction. That’s very evident. And she wants more. “You’re a prophet; You speak for God”--and she wants more.
So she poses a question. Verse 20, “Our fathers worship in this mountain and You people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship".
Where do I go to worship? That’s the question, “Where do I go to worship?” Her soul is bowing slowly and she knows that being right with God is a matter of worship. She doesn’t know where.
And what Jesus says to the woman in this passage is that the way you viewed worship must be abandoned.
She’s saying, “Where do I go? Do I go to Mount Gerizim where the Samaritans have their temple? Do I go to Jerusalem where the Jews have their temple? Where do I go?”
And Jesus says in V 21-24 “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in 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 an hour is coming and now is when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.”
There is that monumental text, the most definitive text in the gospels on the matter of worship and it starts with a denunciation of the external forms of worship--unacceptable worship must be abandoned. She needs to know that.
So she goes back to her religion, back to her forefathers. “Our fathers worship in this mountain.”
The compelling thing I want you to see is she knew she needed to bow before God. She knew she needed to go to God and bow her knee and acknowledge Him and she didn’t know where to go.
All she knew was external religion, because that’s all sinners ever know. That’s all they ever know. She is stunned by Jesus’ knowledge of her sinful pattern of life.
Her conscience is pained. Her soul is pierced. She is unmasked as an adulterous. She is a stranger to righteousness.
The weight of guilt which she spent a lot of her time trying to avoid has now come down in full force on her head.
The reality breaks on her once indifferent mind that she needs to be right with God. And maybe that’s the path to living water and eternal life. She had to go to God.
Where does she go? She wants to repent, but where does she go? She wants to make her life right, but where does she go?
Does she go to Samaritans’ temple on Mount Gerizim and offer a sacrifice, have a priest offer a sacrifice? Does she go to Jerusalem and have a priest there offer a sacrifice?
What does she do? How does she find peace? How does she get forgiveness? Sinners naturally see religion as external. Where do I go?
What church do I go? What place? What ritual? What ceremony? Because that’s all they know because their hearts have never been changed. They don’t know the internal life of God.
But I love her question. “I need to worship. I need to bow before God.” But in so doing she needed also to abandon her misconceptions about religion, and that’s what Jesus addresses in verse 21 and following.
And He says it simply, “Woman, believe Me.” And there’s the thing you want to underline: “Believe Me.” That’s the key, “Believe Me.” You must believe what I tell you.
Jesus says, “Listen carefully to what I say” this truth I am giving to you can change your life.
Listen up guys! True worship doesn’t demand a place. It’s not about a place, it’s not about a rite, it’s not about a ritual, it’s not about a ceremony of any kind.
True worship is always about loving God, honoring God, obeying God, serving God from the heart. There are no more temples, there are no more places of worship where God is to be sought and found. There’s no more priesthood. There’s no more altars. There’s no more sacrifices.
Christ ushered in a new era of worship that doesn’t focus on externals or on symbols, but on what is internal and what is real and what is genuine.
All you need to worship is the truth in the scriptures and a heart that loves God anywhere and everywhere. A heart that worships in spirit from the heart based on the truth revealed in scripture.
The woman got so excited about her encounter with Jesus that she left her water pot. Wow! Imagine that.
The truth that that she had embraced impacted her heart in such a way that she ran into the city telling everyone about this man named Jesus.