Summary: John 4 is regarded primarily as a foundation for understanding worship. When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well, He describes to her the nature of worship that God will accept… vv. 23-24 – But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worship
Frank Abagnale was the world’s greatest con artist. The movie Catch Me If You Can is based on the true-life story this man, who bilked the government out of more than $5 million by the time he was 21. Raised in the home of a father who cheated the government and a mother who cheated on her husband, he observed the ease with which a person can lie his way through life.
At age 16, when his parents divorce, he runs away and for two years leads a life of amazing deception. Creating false documents and forging checks, he passes himself off as an airline pilot, a medical doctor, and a practicing attorney. During this time he even passed a state bar exam.
While posing as a doctor, Frank meets a young nurse, Brenda, and falls in love. When he meets her father, who is a prestigious lawyer, and her mother, he scores points with them by feigning to be a graduate of the same law school the father attended. Knowing they are dedicated Lutherans, he also claims to be Lutheran. Because Frank looks ten years older than he really is, Brenda’s father hires him as an associate in his law firm.
The FBI crashes their elaborate engagement party at the parents’ mansion, but Frank sees them coming and races upstairs to pack his bags. Before the agents enter the home, Frank’s fiancé Brenda follows him into the bedroom. He wants her to escape with him. He opens his suitcases to pack for a quick getaway, and Brenda sees thousands of dollars in cash stuffed in each valise. Frank must level with her. He confesses, “Brenda, I don’t want to lie to you anymore. I’m not a doctor. I’ve never been to medical school. I’m not a lawyer or a Harvard graduate. I’m not even a Lutheran. I ran away from home a year and a half ago when I was 16!” With a straight face, Brenda says, “Frank? Frank? You’re not a Lutheran?”
A woman surprised - you REALLY aren’t the man I married… Are you the worshiper you think you are?
John 4 is regarded primarily as a foundation for understanding worship. When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well, He describes to her the nature of worship that God will accept… vv. 23-24 – But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
As I meditate upon this passage the Holy Spirit shows me some things I hadn’t seen quite so clearly before. They are things, which God does in our worship. As we look at this together, open your heart. In fact, these two verses describe God the Father seeking true worshipers.
The Father’s Pursuit
Seeking is a Divine initiative. We hail the ones, who are the touchstones of God’s revival moves, those earnest seekers after God’s heart and presence. God seeks…
I remember when I returned to the Lord in college. Adrift in spiritual compromise and hypocrisy and entirely lost… Knowing a call that the Lord had placed upon my life for ministry and running from God… I became utterly desperate. I repented.
It was in my dorm room at about 6:00 PM. I sold out. I gave up. I surrendered. And the power of God filled me in that room, which such divine grace. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and, for the first time, I began to pray in another language… And I take NO Credit!
For all my pursuit after God in that desperate condition – He had been earnestly pursuing me. Let’s back up to the beginning of the story in v. 3… He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria.
No Jew ever really needed to go through Samaria. The Samaritans were leftovers. They were descendants from the northern Jewish kingdom and had intermarried with foreigners after the chiefs and nobles were taken into exile in 722 B.C. They had once built a separate worship place on their own Mount Gerizim. They rejected all of the Old Testament except their own version of the first five books of Moses. Their animosity toward Jews was centuries old.
Jesus embraced the opportunity. He is bone-weary from the journey. He is hot and thirsty. And He is also on a mission. In Luke 19, Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house; Zacchaues, the despised tax-collector. Jesus describes it this way…
Luke 19:10 “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Jesus decides: “Perfect… A Samaritan adultress. I will show my disciples how my Father seeks worship in the midst of real life from the least likely. She is a Samaritan. She is a woman. She is a harlot.” God comes to make true worshipers out of broken Samaritan harlotes