God meets us in our need. John 4:24

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John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The Book of John can be described as a book of “encounters”. Each chapter tells a story of Jesus encountering an individual or individuals with the truth of who He is. The context for each encounter is always defined by the circumstance the individual or individuals are facing. Jesus meets us in our need. This is absolutely true in John 4. This section of scripture is the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Woman at the well.

To our 21st Century mind we might think, “this story is no big deal”. However, the reason this story finds itself in the Bible is because of the shock waves Jesus would have created because of His interaction with this woman. In 1st Century Israel, a Jewish man would not talk to a Samaritan. In fact, Most Jews avoided the area of Samaria altogether by walking around the region. A Jew especially would not talk to a Woman who was Samaritan. As if to take the story one step further, Jesus takes time to speak with a Samaritan woman who had been ostracized from her own Samaritan people. She had the reputation for sleeping around town in the arms of any man who embraced her. Society labeled this woman an outcast, yet Jesus cared for her. She was made in the image of God. The Samaritan women even acknowledged how rare it is for a Jew to speak to a Samaritan woman.

John 4:9 Therefore the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

As this story unfolds we learn that in the eyes of God, this Samaritan woman is beautiful. Jesus had a divine appointment with her. This story shows us that God love for us is unmerited. God’s love for us extends beyond our deepest sin. God sees the beauty of humanity from within. Even if you feel unaccepted by society, you are loved by God. God cares about you too much to let you remain where you are. He wants you to turn to him.  

As the conversation continues between Jesus and this woman, we discover that she was familiar with religion. She brings up a religious debate often argued among her own people. The Samaritans worship in their own temple. The Jews worship in the Jerusalem temple. She wants to know which temple is the correct temple.  In response, Jesus points to her need for the Lord and shows her how important true worship is through a God who genuinely cares for her and meets her in her need. He invites her to bring her brokenness and sin before her God who cares for her, forgives her, and loves her. Rather than point to a temple for a solution, Jesus identifies the true way to worship God.

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Here are a few thoughts from this passage:

·         God is Spirit.- The Bible tells us that a spirit has no flesh and blood. Yet Jesus, who is God, took on flesh to die for sinful man. (John 1:14, Romans 8:3)

  • We MUST worship in spirit. We find through the new testament that the spirit of God no longer dwells in man-made temples, but rather the spirit of God dwells in his people (those that have turned to the Lord and placed their trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sins). Because the spirit now indwells his people we can worship God wherever we are. We are the church, and God calls us to gather together in worship of him as one group of believers.  (Matt 27:51; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Romans 8:9)
  • We Must worship in Truth. The Bible reveals to us that God calls us to worship him as he has revealed himself. Corinthians warns us about worshipping a false Jesus. Just because a person acknowledges a Jesus doesn’t mean it is the right Jesus. All religions have a teaching about Jesus but it doesn’t make it true. God desires for us to worship him in Truth. (1 Corinthians 11:3-4; Matthew 7:22-23; Colossians 2:8-10; John 20:28) 

The Samaritan woman’s encounter with God transformed her life. She found God. She found forgiveness, acceptance, and purpose. Once she sees past religion, she sees her values in God’s eyes. She connects to a loving and forgiving God, and her life is forever changed.

John 4:28-29: So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”

Do you feel rejected, alone, ostracized, distant from those around you? God cares. When we connect to the one true God we find forgiveness and love. We also find meaning and purpose for living through a relationship with our creator God who desires for you to draw near to Him. Let go of religion and cling to Jesus. He isn’t found in fancy buildings; He is found in spirit. His Spirit indwells His people. These people are the ones who embrace his forgiveness through the cross. The place Jesus paid the full penalty for your sin. He will transform your life and demonstrate that transformation in you.

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”