A Divine Appointment

Gift of God
John 4:1-14 Summary

Jesus had a divine appointment with a woman at a well one day. She was from Samaria. (Samaritans were not liked by the Jews). He asked the woman for some water. She was surprised that he, a Jew, would ask her, a Samaritan woman, for a drink of water. Jesus told her that if she knew the gift of God, and who it was that was asking her for a drink, that she would have asked him, and he would have given her living water.

She was still thinking of literal water, so Jesus told her that everyone who drinks of the well water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that he will give them will never be thirsty again. For, the water that he will give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Gift of God

Jesus was referring to himself as the gift of God, plus God’s grace to us, in sending Jesus (God the Son) to die on a cross for our sins, is the gift of God, as is the God-given faith necessary for us to be saved from our sins, as is our salvation from sin. Plus, eternal life with God is also the gift of God to all who are believing in Him with God-given faith (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 6:23).

If she only knew who it was who was asking her for a drink. And, who did he later then reveal who he was to her? He told her that he was the Messiah (the Christ), the promised seed of Abraham, the Savior of the world that the Jews had been told was coming, and that they had been anticipating. If she only knew that it was the Christ who was asking her for a drink, she would have asked him for living water.

And, what is this living water? It is the Holy Spirit, and it is our salvation from sin, and it is our eternal life with God, and it is our new lives in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

For, when we believe in Jesus with God-gifted faith, which submits to him as Lord, and which turns from sin to walk in obedience to him, then we are translated of the Spirit of God from death to life. We are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:17-24).

And, then the Holy Spirit of God comes to live within us, and the life we now live in these flesh bodies we live by faith in Jesus Christ and empowered of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 2:20).

And, that faith is realized in what we do in obedience to our Lord. So daily, by the Spirit, we die to sin and self, and daily we take up our cross and follow Jesus Christ wherever he leads us in doing whatever it is he commands us to do (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

And, he fills us to overflowing with his presence, and with his love, and with his strength, knowledge, and empowerment to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. And, he also enables us to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith (Rom. 12:1-2).

And, for those who follow our Lord in obedience, and in surrender to his will, and who are walking with him, as a matter of practice, according to the Spirit of God, and who are not living their lives to please the flesh, they will have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

In Spirit and Truth
John 4:15-24 Summary

The woman then asked Jesus for this living water, although she was still thinking of physical water.

But, Jesus had a very curious response to her request. He told her to go call her husband and then to come back there. She admitted she had no husband. And, then Jesus acknowledged the correctness of her statement. But, then he added that she had had five husbands and that the man she was now with was not her husband.

To this the woman responded that she perceived that Jesus was a prophet. But, then she went on to talk about some differences between the Jews and the Samaritans with regard to their worship of God, although I believe that the Samaritans mixed the Jewish faith with idolatry, but then the Jews were known for that, too, throughout their history.

But, Jesus made it clear to her that their worship of God was lacking in knowledge and understanding of who He truly was and of what was required of them in their worship of him. So, it wasn’t true worship of God. But, he said, that a day was coming, and was there, when true worshipers of God would and must worship him in spirit and in truth.

True Worship of God

So, what was the message Jesus was giving to her, and to us? It was that worship of God is not outward only. It is not a formula or some religious performance. And, it is not man-made and self-determined. And, it is not restricted to a particular physical location. For, we can’t determine for ourselves how and where we would worship God. God determines those things, and it is up to us to comply with Him.

In modern day Christianity and in institutional churches they have something called “worship services” in buildings built by human hands which they call “church” and which are usually under the auspices of church denominations, and in America, under the government, too.

And, they have their routines that they often follow. Even those who are a little looser regarding structure still basically follow a specific formula of what they call worship. In some of these churches, their worship services are very formal and liturgical. Others are very loosely structured, but again, are consistent in what they do. And, then there are those who are somewhere in between, not too stiff, but not loose, either.

But, does the structure or the lack thereof, or the specific formula or routine of these “worship services” constitute true worship of God? No! Not in themselves they don’t. So, what determines if we are truly worshiping God or not? Scripture says our spiritual worship of God is giving ourselves to our Lord as “living sacrifices,” holy and pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the pattern of this world (Rom. 12:1-2).

So, we can go through all the routines of worship in something called “worship services” inside buildings called “church” and not worship God at all. We could be worshiping God, providing what we are doing is not contrary to God’s Word and his divine will for us, and providing our hearts are in the right place, and that we are living holy lives, pleasing to him. But, the routines themselves do not constitute true worship of God.

In Spirit and Truth

So, to worship God in spirit, is inward, not outward, although it may be expressed outwardly in some respects. And, it is of the heart, not of outward form or ritual. And, it is lives surrendered to Jesus Christ to walks of obedience to him, who are living separate (unlike, different) from the world in the way that we think and act and speak. And, it is of the Spirit of God and not of the flesh of man.

And, to worship him in truth is to not be hypocritical or showy or to just follow a formula, but it is to be sincere and honest in our worship of God by repenting of sin and walking in obedience to him daily, and by living lives which are separate from this sinful world and which are pure, trustworthy, faithful, moral, and upright, for the glory of God.

And, we don’t have to go to a “worship service” at a building called “church” to worship God, either, individually or collectively.

If the Holy Spirit is living within us, we are God’s temple, his house. God now lives within us, so we can worship him anywhere at any day in the week at any hour of the day or night. A group of us could meet together at a coffee house or in a parking lot or at a grocery store and together we can worship God by our lives committed to him, in obedience to him in doing what he says to do.

And, together that involves us encouraging one another in our walks of faith to obedience to Christ. And, it involves us using the gifts God has given to us to the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ, our Lord. And, it includes us serving one another in the areas of ministry to which God has assigned us for the mutual encouragement of one another.

In all these ways we are worshiping God in spirit and in truth, because we are living holy lives, pleasing to God, surrendered to our Lord, which is our spiritual worship of him. And, we are no longer living after the ways of this sinful world, but we are walking by the Spirit of God, instead. And then our worship of him can also be expressed outwardly in praise, in singing, in prayer and in thanksgiving to our God for all that he has done for us.

Do You Know My Jesus?

William F. Lakey, 1956
V.B. Vep Ellis, 1957

Do you know my Jesus?
Do you know my friend,
Have you heard He loves you,
And that He will abide till the end?

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11 thoughts on “A Divine Appointment

  1. I was listening to a video that talked about this and it helps to know before Jesus resurrected, His ministry was for the Jews. This one and the other woman who talked about crumbs from the Master are one of the few Gentiles we see Jesus minister to.

    Of course, the Samaritans didn’t understand the God of Jerusalem, they couldn’t have because salvation had not been opened to the Gentiles yet. It is amazing what doors Jesus opened for us, the Gentiles. It is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can worship in spirit, and receiving salvation, which we walk towards in this life as well, the Comforter abides within us.

    I was listening to how many messages Jesus had, the context, was directed for His Jewish audience. It’s powerful how He opened the doors to the Gentiles. Such a powerful story!!! He is our living water!

    Liked by 1 person

    • But, it was prophesied of him that he would be a light to the Gentiles, right? So, she might have known that. She knew about his coming, so she must have heard the scriptures taught somewhere. And Jesus was the promised seed of Abraham through whom all nations would be blessed. So, it was known that he came, not just to the Jews, but to be a light to the Gentiles, too, and that all nations would be blessed through him.

      Yes, it is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we can worship him in spirit and in truth and that we can receive his salvation from sin and eternal life with God. Thanks, T.R. I appreciate all that you said here!! Yes, He is our living water!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely! And good point, she did knkw there would be a Messiah. I like looking at context of scripture and knowing He first came to minister to the Jews made this scene really special. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • John 1:9-13: “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

        This doesn’t say just to the Jews. It says he was a light to everyone. It says his own people did not receive him but to ALL (anyone) who would receive him they could become children of God.

        I think the message was clear that he came, not just to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles. Did he mainly minister to Jews? Probably. But, his messages were out in public, often in the temple courts, where they could be heard by both Jew and Gentile. I am not certain that he only ministered to Jews with the exception of just those two women, but I would have to research that. I just know that scriptures teach he came to everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not disagreeing at all. I meant some scriptures like Matt. 15:24 , or the woman who speaks of the crumbs from the Master’s table, Jesus’ ministry was for the Jews. When Jesus sends out His disciples, He tells them not to go into the towns of the Gentiles. Most of His ministry was for the Jews.

        But it is through this ministry we do see Him rejected by them. I’m not disputing at all He didn’t come for the Gentiles. What I wanted to share was I never realized most of His teachings were directed for the Jews. Gentiles wouldn’t know the Law of Moses, which He often talked about. But a Jewish audience makes sense because He is correcting the false teaching of the Pharisees.

        It is after the resurrection we see ministry for the Gentiles, and I just think that’s awesome. How God truly loved the world and how Jesus broke through man’s barrier for the Gentiles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • T.R., the way I look at it is this: The Old Testament prophets, including in the Psalms, prophesied that Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles and that through him all nations would be blessed, and the Gospel of John, especially, makes that real clear, that Jesus came for everyone, not just for the Jews. BUT, Jesus had to transition the Jews from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant, and they were to be Christ’s witnesses in taking the gospel to the Gentiles, eventually. So, it was like Jesus had to disciple and train them first, get them moved over to the New Covenant, and then they could be his ministers in taking his gospel to the Gentiles. But, most of them refused Jesus.

        I also liken it to the church. Jesus trains and disciples us so that we can go out into the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We aren’t supposed to fill the gatherings of the church with the people of the world. When we do that, then so much gets geared towards the world and not towards God’s people, his church, and thus they don’t get discipled, and they don’t get the growth teaching they need so that they can live for the Lord and so that they will take his gospel out to the world. The church is supposed to be the body of Christ and it exists for us to encourage and help grow one another in the faith. But, that is severely lacking in the church because the church has brought the world into their gatherings, and in order to keep the world there, they have shifted the focus of the church to appeal more to the world rather than for the equipping of the saints.

        So, in relation to that, I can see why Jesus’ main focus was on the Jews, to disciple them, and to get them moved from the Old Covenant to the New so that they could take the gospel to the Gentiles, for he told the Samaritan woman that the Samaritans didn’t know God because salvation came from the Jews and the Jews had not yet brought his salvation to the Gentiles for he had to equip the Jews first.

        So, that is my thinking on the subject. Jesus came for everyone, but first he had to get his people ready so that they could take his gospel to the world, so that is why the primary focus on the Jews in preparing them to be his witnesses to the rest of the world.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You packed a lot of truth into this post Sue, and you chose your words carefully. And you’re right, the routines themselves do not constitute true worship of God. Routines are just routines, God looks at the heart and that probably explains why there are no “perfect” routines because we would start to turn those into idols too. There are no “cookie cutter” Christians, we are all unique, imperfect, different yet the same is some aspects. Same body, different parts, different functions. I think how Jesus dealt with this Samaritan woman at the well is a beautiful example of how Jesus would have us deal with others. Many lessons to be learned here. Thank you Sue, blessings to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce, Thank you. Glory to God! Yes, we are all different. Different parts, same body. Not every situation is the same, though, as far as how to deal with others. Jesus dealt differently with different people, depending on their hearts, their character and their willingness to listen to him or not. He didn’t deal with the Pharisees in the same way in which he dealt with this woman, in other words. So, different situations require different approaches. But, in all such cases, what we do must be done in love and in the power of God’s Spirit under His direction.

      Liked by 1 person

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