Summary: No one seeks for God, but He seeks for a certain kind of person
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The account of Jesus meeting with the unnamed woman at Jacob’s well near Sychar in Samaria is so deep and so profound, that I would not be surprised if a preacher could stay in the fourth chapter of John’s Gospel and preach for a year, never repeating a main topic of focus from one sermon to the next.
It is so rich that there is much to learn there about Jesus as the Son of God, Jesus as the Prophet of God, Jesus the destroyer of barriers between men and men and men and God, Jesus the healer of hearts, Jesus the great Teacher of all, Jesus the Savior of men, Jesus the object of true spiritual worship, and much more even than this. There might even be one called, “Jesus, the Man Who Kept His Disciples Dizzy”
In His discourse with this blest woman of Samaria, Jesus has moved in a very short time from total stranger of whom the woman can only be suspicious, to interesting conversationalist, to prophet of God, and to promised Messiah who, in her words, ‘when (He) comes will declare all things to us’.
But Jesus was much more than an information giver wasn’t He? The woman couldn’t be faulted for having a limited expectation of the Messiah; the entire nation of Israel did, and they had more information to go on than the Samaritans who even then only accepted the first five books of the Bible as legitimate. They rejected Israel’s prophets and poems and historical books out of hand. So in truth, this woman showed some pretty perceptive thinking and reasoning.
I think we can deduce just by this conversation that although an uneducated woman, and by all accounts a woman of relaxed morals – to put it kindly – she was one who spent some time listening to things being said around her and thinking them through on her own.
Her questions were pointed and legitimate, her conclusions were accurate, and when she came to the place of believing the words of Jesus she wasted no time running to fetch others so they might come and see for themselves.
In the sermon previous to this one we focused on the many barriers Jesus tore down between people and between people and God, but in order to do so we skipped over a vital portion of Jesus’ discourse to this woman, and I think I would be doing a great injustice to the passage and to the Word of God if I failed to come back to it today.
So let’s read this account again just to have it fresh in our minds, and again we’ll just read to verse 26 because our primary focus will be in verses 16 through 24.
“Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4 And He had to pass through Samaria. 5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 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.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 11 She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12 “You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.” 16 He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”