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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jesus and the Samaritan woman -- New Way of Worship -- Part 5

Salvation is of the Jews

Jesus tells this woman that the Samaritans worship what they do not know. In other words, a man-made religion and confused, false truth. King Jeroboam had changed the place of worship to Mount Gerizim and had made two golden calves and set them in a high place in Shechem for the people to worship. This was in direct disobedience to God who had said they were to build the temple on the mount in Jerusalem. 
Jesus spoke the truth to this Samaritan woman. Salvation is of the Jews because the Savior and Messiah came through the Jews to fulfill scripture. The Savior of the world has His origin from God but came through the Jews by God's grace. The Jews had a unique role in God's plan of salvation just as Adam, Abel, Shem, Noah etc. did before them. All before the establishment of the Jewish nation through Jacob's sons were Gentiles. Even being chosen is by God's grace alone because every human is a sinner. As God had a plan for His people in the Older Testament, God has a unique role in His Kingdom for every follower of Christ even though we are yet sinners.

Although Jesus came in human form, His Person transcends human perception. He is God in human flesh. He had none of the limitations that humans have because He had the fullness of the Father, the fullness of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of Truth within. Wherever Jesus was, He carried within the full consciousness of God's presence and power. Jesus experienced the feelings of humans in His flesh body, but He was Divine on the inside because He had no sin. Unlike all other humans, He was holy so no human can boast or think themselves better than any other.

The Israelites were unfaithful and disobedient to God time and time again. Psalm 78:41: Yes, again and again, they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. Jesus didn't limit God and His power as He walked the earth. Humans do because we have sin.  Jesus, on the other hand, did only what the Father told Him to do and only spoke what the Father told Him to speak. God knows the heart of man and the weakness of flesh, and He knew that His chosen people would be unfaithful. In spite of this, God honored the Jews by having the Savior of the world – Jesus – come through them to forgive all sin. God does not go back on His Word. God also knew that followers of Christ would be unfaithful and disobedient time and time again. This is why God saved both Jews and Gentiles by His grace and truth. He knew man couldn't. We are all – Jew and Gentile – equally guilty, equally loved and on equal ground at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ. 

In the story of Nicodemus and the sinful, Samaritan woman, Jesus is showing that He is as concerned for this sinful Samaritan woman as He is the Jewish Nicodemus. They are both in need of His salvation and truth. He is also showing that He values women as much as men.  And, He is showing that He has compassion upon all people regardless of gender, race or background.  

In Spirit and in Truth

Jesus brought in a “new” way of worship. No longer will the earthly temple be the place of worship. Now we will worship the Lord in our hearts in Spirit and in Truth. God is Spirit and He is Truth, so He must be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth. Our spirit is the deepest part of us. God wants to reach deep into our spirit to teach us truth. Jesus is the Truth and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. So, we need the whole Godhead to help us in our spiritual “new creation.”

Worship is more than a song! It is a life! Jesus wants us to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to Him as He offered Himself as a Living Sacrifice for us.
As Jesus on earth was the walking Truth (Word), walking Spirit and walking Temple of God, believers in Christ are to also be these things. Jesus now works through His followers. We are His temple who are to be full of the Truth and the Holy Spirit. True worship is when the spirit of Man meets the Spirit of God. And we are to speak the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth.

Jesus is awakening this sinful Samaritan woman's spiritual thirst. By drinking His living water, this adulteress bride will become a virtuous Bride of Christ through the cleansing water of the Holy Spirit and Truth/Word. The Truth – the whole Truth -- is speaking to this woman. He has helped this woman face the truth about herself; now He will help  her see that He is the Truth. The Truth (Word) not only reveals God, it reveals our true condition. If we have no sense of our sin, we have no sense of our need for Jesus. The sense of our own wretchedness must be first. We must accept that next to Jesus and His holiness, we are filthy. Understanding our inability to be fully holy because of the weakness of our flesh is our first step to humility and growth.  Jesus not only saw this Samaritan woman in all of her sinfulness, He was her answer to forgiveness, healing, regeneration and restoration. He will take who she “was” and help her “become” all that God intended for her through His Son.


Revelation of Jesus to this Woman
This Samaritan woman is very close to accepting Jesus as her Savior and Lord. She has confessed her sin and listened to His Word. She says to Jesus, “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  In other words, she has recognized Jesus as a man of God, but she doesn't know Him as Messiah – the Christ – the Anointed One of God. Jesus has spoken six times to this sinful woman. On the seventh time, He reveals who He is to her.   He is the Messiah whom she has expected to come.  

 Jesus' Disciples Return

Right after Jesus revealed that He is the Messiah that the Samaritans were awaiting, His disciples returned. Given the attitude of rabbis about talking to a woman in public let alone one of ill-repute, the disciples were surprised to see Jesus talking with this woman but they didn't say a word. They had learned through experience not to question things that Jesus did. They had seen Him transform water into wine! His ways were not their ways. 

                          (to be continued next week)




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