True worship

560 true worshipThe main dispute between the Jews and the Samaritans at the time of Jesus was where God should be worshiped. Since the Samaritans had no share in the temple in Jerusalem, they held the view that Mount Gerizim was the right place for the worship of God and not Jerusalem. At the temple construction, some Samaritans had offered to help the Jews rebuild their temple and Zerubbabel had abruptly rejected them. The Samaritans responded by complaining to the king of Persia and stopped work (Esr 4). When the Jews rebuilt the city walls of Jerusalem, Governor Samarias threatened to militarily attack the Jews. Finally, the Samaritans built their own temple on Mount Gerizim, which the Jews built in the year 128 BC. Destroyed. Although the essence of your two religions was the law of Moses, they were bitter enemies.

Jesus in Samaria

Most Jews avoided Samaria, yet Jesus, accompanied by his disciples, went to this land. He was tired, so he sat down at a well near the city of Sychar and sent his disciples to the city to buy food (Joh 4,3-8). A woman from Samaria came by and Jesus spoke to her. She was surprised that he was talking to a Samaritan woman, and his disciples were talking about talking to a woman (V. 9 and 27). Jesus was thirsty, but had nothing with him to draw the water - but she very well. The woman was touched by the fact that a Jew actually intended to drink from the water tank of a Samaritan woman. Most Jews considered such a vessel to be impure in accordance with their rites. "Jesus answered and said to her," If you know the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give me drink, you bethat him, and he give you living water "(Jn 4,10).

Jesus used a pun. The term "living water" usually meant moving, flowing water. The woman knew very well that the only water in Sychar was in the well and there was no running water nearby. So she asked Jesus what he was talking about. Jesus answered and said to her, "He who drinks of this water will thirst again; but he who drinketh of the water which I give him shall not thirst for ever, but the water which I will give him will in him become a spring of water, which gushes forth into eternal life "(Jn 4,13- 14).

Was the woman ready to accept the spiritual truth of an enemy of faith? Would she drink Jewish water? She could understand that she would never thirst with such a source and would not have to work so hard anymore. Unable to grasp the truth of which he spoke, Jesus turned to the fundamental problem of the woman. He suggested that she call her husband and come back with him. Although he already knew she had no husband, she still asked, possibly as a sign of his spiritual authority.

True worship

Now, having learned that Jesus was a prophet, the Samaritan woman raised the age-old controversy between the Samaritans and the Jews, which is the right place to worship God. "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place to worship" (Jn 4,20).

"Jesus said to her, Believe me, woman, the time is coming for you to worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You do not know what you worship; but we know what we worship; for salvation comes from the Jews. But the hour is coming and already is that the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the father also wants to have such worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth "(Jn 4,21-24).

Did Jesus suddenly change the subject? No, not necessarily. The gospel of John gives us further hints: "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life" (Jn 6,63). «I am the way and the truth and the life» (Joh 14,6). Jesus revealed a great spiritual truth to this strange Samaritan woman.

The woman, however, was not quite sure what she had to say and said, "I know that the Messiah who is called Christ is here. When he comes, he will tell us everything. Jesus says to her, "It is I who speak with you" (v. 25-26).

His self-revelation "It's me" (the Messiah) - was very unusual. Clearly, Jesus felt well and could speak openly, confirming that what he told her is right. The woman left her water jug ​​and went home to the city to tell everyone about Jesus; and she persuaded people to check this themselves, and many of them came to faith. "But many of the Samaritans in that city believed for the sake of the Word of the Wife, who testified: He has told me all that I have done. When the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed for the sake of his word »(V. 39-41).

Worship today

God is spirit, and our relationship with him is spiritual. The focus of our worship is more on Jesus and our relationship with him. He is the source of living water that we need for our eternal life. It requires our consent that we need them and ask him to quench our thirst. To put it another way, in the metaphor of Revelation, we have to admit that we are poor, blind and naked, asking Jesus for spiritual wealth, eyesight and clothing.

You pray in spirit and in the truth when you seek with Jesus what you need. True devotion and worship of God is not characterized by outward appearances, but by your attitude towards Jesus Christ, and it means hearing the words of Jesus and coming through him to your spiritual Father.

by Joseph Tkach