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True Worshipers



 In John 4:19-20, the Samaritan women said to Jesus, (after he told her information about her life) “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.”

In response Jesus says 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.” 

Samaria was a part of Israel that many Jews avoided. They would go around on a longer journey rather than through Samaria when going to Jerusalem from Galilee. 

The Samaritans were Israelites from northern Israel who historically were part of the Assyrian captivity. (2 Kings 17:24-29) They had intermarried with settlers from other nations who occupied northern Israel.

The Samaritans were not thought of as Israelites by the Judeans, but rather as “people of the Mesopotamian city of Kutha/כותה‎’, which refers in itself to a certain reception of the passage 2 Kings 17.24, Josephus’ Antiquities.)

While holding to many Jewish beliefs and customs which included looking for the Messiah, the Samaritans believed that because they had come to live on Mount Gerizim they were called (because of Moses), to protect it as a sacred mountain.

The Samaritans also held different theological and political beliefs than the Judaeans in the south of Israel. While the Samaritans worshipped YHWH they had competing temples. Mt. Gerizim was the Samaritan sanctuary while the Judeans worshipped in the temple built by King Solomon in Jerusalem.

They also had different religious texts. The Samaritans had 5 books of the Torah in their Samaritan Pentateuch with a Samaritan twist, including the Mount Gerizim doctrine. The Samaritans rejected much of the Hebrew Masoretic text  consisting of 24 books.

The Samaritan women at the well was told by Jesus that the Samaritans did not know what they worshiped but the Judeans knew what they worshipped. This was due to the fact that the Samaritans had little knowledge of God because they rejected much of the Hebrew text but also because many Samaritans mixed Hellenistic ideology into their culture. (The idea of reasoning, science, moral ethics based on human standards.)

After the conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, the Samaritans, like all other people groups in the region, came under the influence of Greek culture. The Samaritans in time developed their own form of Hellenism.

Fragments of Samaritan literature in Greek, as well as a number of Greco-Samaritan inscriptions ( In Palestine and the diaspora) testify to this. The Ancient Samaritans and Greek Culture Pieter W. van der Horst Faculty of Theology, Utrecht University (Emeritus), 3512 JE Utrecht, The Netherlands

The Hebrew text confirms the temple of Jerusalem as the place where YHWY was to be worshipped. That is why Jesus said, “we know what we worship.”  

“The Lord said to him: ‘I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 1 Kings 9:2-4

The Samaritans rejected the Judean authority of scriptures and their oral law.

Jesus made it clear to the Samaritan woman that the hour would come when neither on Mount Gerizim nor in Jerusalem would the Father be worshiped. For two reasons. Both temples would eventually be destroyed but also after Jesus’ death and resurrection those who were true worshippers of YHWY would now worship Him in spirit and in truth.

No longer would those two temples be necessary anymore because after Jesus’ death and resurrection the temple veil in Jerusalem was ripped in two, giving direct access to God for his worshippers. Jesus would now be the high priest and intercessor of his people.

Jesus told the Samaritan women that God is a Spirit and requires his worshipers to worship him from a spiritual perspective. Not from a religious perspective based on a physical temple.

YHWY no longer lives in a temple made by hands. Those who are born of God by his Holy Spirit are God’s temple. He resides in the born again spirit of his elect, chosen from the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4

 Jesus said, “You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:3


Jesus continues in John 3, “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit”

To be born again is to be born of God, born of his Holy Spirit. (Regenerated into a new spiritual person.) Mark 1:15;  Acts 2:38

How can one become born again in order to become a child of God and enter his kingdom?

Consider the following scriptures.

The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel. Mark 1:15

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.” John 5:1        

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Seek And You Will Find!

In John Chapter 4 is the story of the Samaritan women who encountered Jesus at Jacob’s well.

Now there are many symbolisms in this story but I am going to zone in on something in particular.

Notice how it was Jesus who approached the Samaritan woman first. It was he who sought her out.

Jesus got the attention of the Samaritan woman by asking her to give to him a drink of water.

The woman was flabbergasted. Why would this man be asking me for anything?

Jesus in effect did more than just approach a woman he did not know (which was not a common occurrence in Israel) but he also offered that woman to partake of his living water.

Notice how Jesus calls this woman going about her daily life. This woman probably had a whole bunch of things on her mind and was not exactly expecting to see the Messiah that day. She was however seeking him out and was just about to get her answer.

According to the gospel of John it was important for Jesus to go to Samaria.

And he must needs go through Samaria.”

Jesus had an appointment.

The very first thing that Jesus does is go to Jacob’s well. There he meets the Samaritan women.

After the Samaritan women asked Jesus why he would ask her for anything Jesus replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that I am then you would have asked me for living water.”

Jesus was pointing out to the Samaritan women that he was the gift being sent to her. Coming along at a time in her life when she was not expecting it.

Jesus had a divine appointment with this Samaritan women. An encounter that was about to change her life.

Jesus watching the Samaritan women draw water asks her for a drink and then he offers to the Samaritan women his living water. He tells the Samaritan woman that if she drinks of his living water then she will never thirst again. Jesus also tells the Samaritan women that his living water would spring up for her into everlasting life.

Right away the Samaritan women replied. “Give to me this water so I don’t have to come here and draw water any more.

Women had to walk a long ways sometimes to get water. Then they had to walk back home again carrying the heavy vessel filled with that water. In effect what the Samaritan women was asking is for Jesus to take her burden. She was worn out. Life for her had not been easy.

Knowing this Jesus asked her. “Give me to drink.”

Even in her own struggles this Samaritan women took the time to minister to the need of another.

Jesus then let the Samaritan women know that he understood her problems. He revealed her life story. This then caused the Samaritan woman to realize that Jesus had supernatural ability to help her.

When Jesus revealed to the Samaritan women that he knew her heart issue he also revealed to her the solution.

Jesus pointed out that all the husbands that the Samaritan woman had in her lifetime were a poor substitute for the need she really had which was to be loved and cared for.

One can only imagine the harsh life the Samaritan woman must have had. No body could have had that many husbands without some sort of hardship going on.

Jesus in effect was pointing out that if the Samaritan woman drank his living water then her heart’s need would be met.

The Samaritan women was looking for Messiah. She knew that Messiah was to come. She even acknowledged that Messiah had the answer to her problems.

When Messiah comes he will tell us all these things.

Jesus answered. “I am the one you are looking for.”

Jesus told the Samaritan women the answer to her life’s longing. What she needed was to worship God in the Spirit. She needed to come to him to have living water. Only his living water could satisfy the longing of her heart.

When the Samaritan women recognized that Jesus was indeed the Messiah she could not help but share the good news. She ran to tell everyone about Jesus and his ability to help them with their problems too. He was the Messiah they had been waiting for!

There is something important I would like to point out about this encounter at Jacob’s well.

The Samaritan women was a seeker. She was thirsty for Messiah to come. She wanted to have his living water to ease the burdens in her life.

Jesus was sent to the Samaritan women. He sought her out because she was looking for him. She was thirsty for Messiah to tell her the things she needed to know. The Samaritan woman knew Messiah had all the answers!

Encumbered by her heavy load and searching for answers the Samaritan Women had the right heart condition to be open to the gospel message.

Jesus did this same thing with the people who were seeking him when they were hungry. He saw their need and wanted to meet their need. He asked the disciples. Do you have any bread? Mark 8:16

When a blind man sought out Jesus he asked him, “What is it you want me to do? “ Mark 10:51

Again when a crippled man wanted to be healed Jesus said. “Take up your bed and walk.” John 5:8

Notice the pattern?

Seek. Ask. Do. Miracle.

Are you seeking God for something? Are you thirsty? Heavy burdened? Sick? Hungry? In need of a miracle?

Then Jesus has an appointment with you today! He says I am the one you are seeking for. I am the Messiah. I am the one able to meet your need.

Give to me your heart. I am knocking. I am here to help you. I know your problems, struggles, life issues.

Come to me in faith. Believe that I am and that I am able to help you. Turn to me with all your heart. I will give you living water to drink that will spring forth into eternal life.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:8

Seek. Ask. Do. Get your miracle.

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