Read: John 4
“The fact is, you have had five husbands…” (John 4:18)
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped God on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship is in Jerusalem.” (John 4:19-20)
This woman may have had a backstory littered with widowhood and broken marriages, and a reputation that left her an outcast drawing well-water in the hottest part of the day, but she blows me away with her spiritual perspicacity.
She meets a bloke at a well and he starts a conversation about being thirsty and drinking water… so far, so ordinary.
But then he tells her one thing about herself that he had no human way of knowing and BAM! she knows straight away he’s a prophet. And she’s got a religious question right on the tip of her tongue, on a topic of deep spiritual significance, and she just goes ahead and blurts it out.
Maybe all that social exclusion gave this woman time to think some deep religious thoughts, but it’s certain that her outcast status didn’t keep her from wanting to get right with God.
She knows she’s found a prophet and she knows what she doesn’t know. She’s determined to know the truth so she may live in obedience to that truth. Wow! That’s the kind of woman I want to be.
If I met Jesus fact-to-face, would I be willing to ask for his advice on worshiping God rightly – and then act on his advice?
LORD God Almighty,
I delight in the irony of you sovereignly ordaining that I should meditate upon this story on a Sunday, the day on which I have gathered with other Christians to publicly worship you.
Even more, you foreknew that today would be a day when our church’s order of service was changed out of the ordinary routine, to help the little ones sit with the whole congregation through the whole service, including the sermon. And next Sunday we’ll be worshiping in a different place, as part of our Church Family Camp weekend.
How appropriate that I should read this today, and be shown that the necessary thing about my worship is not location nor order of service, but that I worship you in Spirit and Truth. And another delicious connection: this morning our Sunday School and sermon were on the Spirit of Truth who testifies about Jesus, as Jesus spoke of him in John 15:26-16:33.
O LORD, I love your ways!