Summary: God is seeking out worshipers who will worship Him the way He desires. I. Genuine Worshipers Come Clean With God (17-18). II. Know Who They Worship (19-26). III. Worship God on a Spiritual Level (24). IV. Get Real in Their Worship (24).


John 4:17-26

Review: 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." 16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." 17 "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." 21 Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." 25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." 26 Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

Prop: God is seeking out worshipers who will worship Him the way He desires.

Interrogative: How do we know whether we qualify or not as worshipers of God?

TS: We will look at 4 marks of a genuine worshiper that will help us evaluate ourselves.

I. Genuine Worshipers Come Clean With God (17-18)

-“I have no husband.” While the woman did not reveal her own past, Jesus tactfully did so, while affirming her own statement. He uncovers her past and identifies her present. He awakens her conscience, revealing the true state of her life. The fact that she tries to change the subject with a theological question does not disturb the Lord. Rather, He simply responds to her, speaking the truth in love. She did not defend herself or deny the Lord’s correct diagnosis of her past and present life. In fact, she also affirms what Jesus has said by saying, “Sir, I can tell You are a prophet.” In that sense, she came clean with Jesus regarding the state of her life.

-When is the last time you came clean with God? He knows our past. He knows our present. However, when we confess our sins to Him and come clean with Him, He does not remember our sins against us any longer. All genuine worshipers must come clean with God. This is part of worshiping in truth. We must have nothing to hide from the One who knows all about us, but loves us just the same.

-This woman was on her way there. She knew she had been living in sin, and no doubt wanted to come clean and be restored. However, she still needed to have some questions answered for her. It was not enough for someone to know about her life. She had some questions about Who God was & how and where people should worship Him.

TS: She was aware of the differences in the way Jews & Gentiles viewed worship. That leads us to the next point.

II. Genuine Worshipers Know Who They Worship (19-26)

-Worshiping in truth requires an accurate knowledge of who God is, and what He expects from mankind. If we try to make God into what we think He should be, then we become guilty of spiritual idolatry – making God in our own image, rather than allowing Him to reshape us into His image.

-Mt. Gerizim was in full view of Jacob’s Well. So, you can see how easy it was for it to enter into the conversation. Mt. Gerizim was the mountain that the Israelites were to pronounce the blessings from, when they entered the Promise Land (Deut. 11:29). So, the Samaritans adopted this Mt. as the place where God would make His name to dwell. The Jews had already identified Jerusalem as that place. Some traditions say that Sanballat built the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim after trying to hinder Nehemiah from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Some of this is speculation, and the sources are scarce and sometimes questionable.

-Regardless, the question of where to worship was an important one to both Jews and Samaritans. Both claimed to worship Yahweh, the one true God. Both groups embraced the Torah (at least the 1st 5 books) as inspired Scriptures from God. However, the Samaritans had changed some of it, and rewrote the 10th Commandment to validate their existence as true people of God.

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