Dispelling Confusion

Jesus declared,  “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  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.  God is spirit and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Well, that was succinct.  John wanted to dispell any doubt about who Jesus claimed to be, what His mission was and through whom He originated.  We have to go a long way out of our path to explain this passage away.

Jesus makes a few points that we should list so that we don’t forget them:

1.  Where we worship doesn’t matter anymore, not since Jesus arrived on the scene.  No more holy mountains, temples or shrines are needed.  The new worship place is among His followers wherever they meet.

2.  Salvation comes through the Jews in the form and person of Jesus of Nazareth.  The Jews weren’t always right in the way they approached God, but they held the truth in their law and prophets, according to Jesus.

3.  The Samaritans and thus the entire world, worshiped blindly what they didn’t know, for the only light in the world was the God of Israel incarnate in Jesus.

4.  Our worship, if we are to be called Christians in the truest sense of that word, must grow from our spirits.  Worship, however, cannot be called worship if we have false ideas about God or hold to lies.  So the only way to be worshiping God is to hold to the truth.

Now let me be quite clear and succinct as well:  I’m not claiming these opinions or POVs as coming from me.  These come straight out of the gospel of John.  We can dispute the authorship of the gospels, question the message, reject the message and a host of other reactions which deny the validity of either  the source or content, but we cannot deny that both contain them.

It seems ludicrous to me that people who call themselves “Christan” would forget the fundamental truth contained in the title itself.  In Acts 11: 26 we find the first reference to those who follow Jesus as Christians, which means “Christ’s men”.  Though there are and were many who branched off to begin other sects of “Christianity”, the only authentic form of it is based on the Bible.  Now those who read this teaching might disagree on sentax, word meanings or doctrinal requirements, but the essential message of who saves humanity, according to our written source, is Jesus alone.

Like it or not, that’s the message in the NT.

Jesus settled the source of salvation with one quick paragraph.  Then settled another question the woman had like this:

The woman said,  “I know that Messiah”  (called Christ)  “is coming.  When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared,  “I who speak to you am He.”  John 4: 25, 26.

No slight of hand, no dramatic flourish or fanfare, just an emphatic statement.  Jesus told this woman what He is rarely recorded as saying to anyone else, even His disciples.  His reasoning for this, I beleive, can be found in John 10: 24, 25,  The Jews gathered around Him, saying,  “How long will you keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered,  “I did tell you, but do not believe.  The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me…”

His miracles spoke for Him.  Isaiah foretold that Messiah would heal our wounds by His stripes.  These wounds are as much spirit as they are body, for Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead, but in our story above He went to the heart of a woman so bruised, hurt and most likely bitterly cynical that even a small drop of spiritual water gave her new life.  Jesus speaks into this woman’s life His mission, His identity and asks her to come under His authority.  She’s ready, for John records she got so excited and happily flustered she forgot her water jar.

John says Jesus just sat there happy with the way things turned out.  He forgot all about HIs thirst or the disciples mission to the local town and reveled in the joy of refreshing one lonely, hopeless and utterly fallen human being.

And we are to be like Him…


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