Pastor John’s Bible Stories For Grown-ups
09/23/16 – 577 – Jesus & the Woman at the Well
So Jesus offered the Samaritan woman something she had never heard of – a kind of water that quenched one’s thirst forever! Maybe it was the way He was dressed, or the way His Spirit came through, but she seemed to have no trouble accepting His word that such a thing was possible. Yesterday we said that maybe her acceptance of Him came so easily because of the way He accepted her. There’s some food for thought, isn’t it? Especially if we put it in the context of reaching out to someone who doesn’t know Christ.
Still, she had a rather simplistic interpretation of what the Lord was saying. She was obviously not thinking yet in spiritual terms, but material.
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus was a great teacher. He would show her, but in a way that she would never forget.
16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
So much happened in such a short exchange! First, Jesus gave her a chance to walk away. She could easily have said ‘Sure, I’ll get him and be right back’, and just never returned. Had she done that, she would have been no different from many of those we know today. You know, the ones we invite to church and always promise to come, but always seem to have a last-minute excuse? I know that none of us would ever…
To her credit, she did nothing like that. She faced the truth squarely, and used the opportunity to ask this prophet what was to her a very important question. Or maybe, as some commentators have said, she just wanted to change the subject! Still, Jesus used her question to teach us all a great lesson.
21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” NIV
This lesson deserves more space and time than we have room for today, so we’ll pick up here tomorrow. In the meantime, Let’s pray for the Spirit to help us to open our minds and hearts to a complete understanding of what it means to worship Him “in spirit and in truth.”