Prayer (5 minutes):
- Ask God to point out areas of judgement in your heart
- Thank Him for His unfailing love in your life
- Pray for forgiveness for harboring judgement against other brothers or sisters
- Praise God your performance is forgiven and has no impact on your standing with Him
Scripture (5 minutes): John 4:16-26 (ESV)
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.”
The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Meditation (5 minutes): Meditate on the phrase below. Repeat it 3x out loud.
True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
The mini-saga continues.
The reason this woman may have been a little salty earlier in the story is because of her place in society. Apparently, she had been around the marriage-go-round a handful of times (5 times to be exact) and the guy she was living with wasn’t her husband. She likely had a bit of a negative reputation in the city at that time, and wasn’t one others associated with (noted by her being at the well alone).
So, this street-wise woman is talking with Jesus, and instead of avoiding her or being worried what others might perceive, Jesus invests in her and unveils her eyes to who He is.
The beautiful part of this passage comes in verse 23. Jesus and the woman are having a bit of a back and forth discussing points of religious history and practice. Clearly, she continues to test Him and to be curious of His goals for the conversation.
Jesus responds with the description of what His followers do. “Worship in Spirit and in truth.” It wasn’t about race, gender, location, status in life, occupation, etc. Jesus welcomed those whose spirits were open to His love and who believed in the truth of who He is.
This is in stark contrast to how we behave today. We highlight and divide over the thousands of tiny differences we hold as humans and believers. We expect certain behavior. We stand in silent judgement of those who do not attain to our level of expectation. Worse – we expect our personal behavior to somehow factor into our ability to worship God ourselves.
Jesus offers a different way. He asks that we worship in Spirit. That we humble ourselves and our lives to His will. That we open ourselves to HIs will for us. That we admit our dependence on Him. That we follow the Way He has set forth in His word.
That’s it. How Glorious. Amen!
By no action or qualification of our own, we’re free to worship Him because of what He’s done. Do so today.