Summary: God is the one who invites us, meets us and engages us in worship. It is also God who receives our worship. Look at this story in John 4 through the lens of worship.
Isn’t it amazing how God layers truth upon truth within the Biblical text? Today, I invite you to see one truth from John 4. This is not to to suggest that this is the only truth, or necessarily the highest truth. But I believe you will see it certainly is a truth. As we read through this text from John 4, there are many ways to see it. One way is through the lens of worship.
“Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water…”
Worship begins by entering into the presence of the Divine.
- Sometimes, We enter into the presence of the Divine unaware.
- You entered into a special moment of Divine encounter this morning… whether you knew it or not.
“Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”
Often, it is God himself who initiates the Divine encounter of worship.
- God asks us to join him, to drink deeply from the River of Life.
- God is the one who initiates the Divine union of worship. He is the one seeking it, He is the one who prompts us, He is the one who enables us to worship.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
The call, the invitation to worship can be such a surprise.
Worship can come at times, at places, in moments, in manners which we would never anticipate.
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
God offers a gift in worship that we are slow to understand, and slower to search out.
- Worship contradicts our consumer “Get something” mindset – refusing to reduced to a utilitarian trade of good.
- Worship conveys to us and through us something uniquely powerful about the ministry of the Holy Spirit – an understanding we have been very poor at recognizing.
- Worship is perhaps one of the most powerful ways that God speaks to our hearts, to our minds and to our souls. Long before the Word can take root, long before a teaching can blossom, long before the sermon can penetrate us, Worship breaks open the callousness and self-centeredness of our hearts and souls.
- Perhaps this is why we are so slow to change, so gradual to experience the life-change which the Holy Spirit promises.
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?”
How little we understand about God’s presence, God’s power in worship.
- We’ve tried to generate this ‘getting in worship’ through our own power, our own capability. (I focus my mind, I say a prayer, I study the word… its all about the religious performance I’ve put in.)
- Yet clearly there is an expectation of the Divine doing something that is not of human origin. Clearly God is going to go somewhere we could never go. God is going to do something we could never do.
13 Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. 14 But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
What God offers becomes a part of our very nature, changing every element of how we experience and live our lives.
- Worship infiltrates our lives, and rewrites the essence of our lives.
- Worship permeates my day-to-day conversation, my countenance at work, my witness in my neighborhood.
- Worship is the presence of God with me at all times, in all moments, in all efforts.
- Worship taps into the Eternal, timeless, whole presence of God.
- Perhaps part of the reason why we are so thirsty during the week… Perhaps why we are still missing something in our everyday life is a testimony about a lack of worship, a failure to encounter the Divine in a meaningful, powerful, life-giving way.
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to haul water.”
There is a natural hunger in our soul for worship of our Creator.
- We long for something that will provide for the needs that we hide in the closets of our hearts.