Today’s passage is taken out of the account of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well.

John 4:21-26 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.  The entire passage of the encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well is found in John 4:1-42

Jesus had been talking with the Samaritan woman long enough for her to realize that he was more than a mere man. She had called him a prophet and had begun asking questions. Jesus called her “woman.” In our culture this is not generally a respectful way to address a woman; however, this was not a derogatory remark in the Jewish culture. Perhaps our expression “M’am” is a similar expression in our culture today.

The woman had raised questions about where God should be worshiped. Jesus’ response made it clear that it wasn’t important where people worshiped God. The important thing was that the worship be genuine, that true worshipers would worship “in spirit and truth.”

This tells me that God doesn’t care about denominations as much as hearts. There was a time when my faith first began to deepen and become real to me. During that time I thought the women in my Bible study group were possibly the only Christians in my town. But as time passed and as my faith continued to grow, I began to discover that there were many committed Christians in several churches and denominations. Sadly, many Christians continue to cling to the notion that they are the only ones who are among the saved, and miss out on the fellowship with other devoted Christians.

Do we worship in spirit and truth? Only God can understand the motives of our hearts. Are we truly worshiping God when we attend worship services, or do we attend church because we want to be seen as a good or upstanding person? What are we thinking about when we are in a worship service? Are we truly worshiping the awesome God who created the universe, who then gave his only Son to suffer and die on a cross to take the punishment for our sins? Or do we take all this for granted?

The Samaritan woman shared with Jesus what she understood about the Messiah, saying that when the Messiah came he would explain all of these things. Jesus then answered that he was the Messiah. She then ran to tell the people in her community about Jesus and to bring them to hear him.

Father God, penetrate our hearts when we make the effort to worship you. Enable our spirits to draw near to you in spirit and truth. Help us to focus on you alone when we worship you, whether we are worshiping you in our private worship of you, or in our churches and other Christian worship gatherings.

 Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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