26.10.09

Emmanuel Ministries Notes 10/25/09

Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true." 19The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." 21Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on 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. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." 25The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." 26Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4.16-26 ESV)

Background/Context:
Jesus sat by a well and spoke with a Samaritan woman and asked her for water. She resisted and He told her that He could offer “living water” that would make her to never thirst. He spoke spiritually, she understood physically. The conversation continued.

The Encounter (v.16-19)

  • Three significant things:
    • The well: Where Isaac & Jacob wives were at a well when first encountered
    • The conversation: For a man to speak to a woman asking for water was considered flirtatious
    • The racial/gender issue: Jesus was a male Jew, the Samaritan was a woman. Men and women did not normally speak in public, nor did Jews and Samaritans associate.
  • Two things about the husband request:
    • Availability: the woman’s response could mean she was declaring herself available
    • Adherence of customs and prejudice refused: Jesus confronted her with the fact of five failed marriages and her living with a man she was not married to; also showing that He refused to be bound by man-made rules, especially when a soul hangs in the balance
  • One thing about the woman’s perception:
    • She finally sees there is something different about Jesus- calling Him a prophet

The Exchange (v.20-24)

  • The woman makes two statements:
    • Samaritans worshiped on Mt. Gerizim
    • Jews worshiped in Jerusalem
  • Jesus speaks to her with authority
    • Stating “the hour is coming” was prophetic language that required the hearer to listen to the message
    • She proclaimed Jesus a prophet and was bound to hear the prophetic message
    • He began by addressing her statement about where to worship, saying salvation is of the Jews (it started with the Jews and could proceed from them)
    • He then took it farther: again stating, “the hour is coming” and said, “true worshippers will worship in spirit and in truth.”
    • This marked a change in the need to worship at a temple, or Synagogue. Worship would now be from the temple of God: the human. (“…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” -1 Corinthians 6.19 ESV)
    • in spirit and in truth: tied together to demonstrate the need for genuine worship- not a show like the Pharisees, not based on outward acts, but on the commitment of a heart to God- seeking God in prayer and obeying Him personally.

The Enlightening (v.25-26)

  • After hearing Jesus the woman says she knows “Messiah is coming”
    • Samaritans did not look for a “Messiah” per-se, but a Prophet who would reveal the truth
    • She probably used the word because she was speaking to a Jew
  • After the woman’s statement about the coming Messiah, Jesus brings the reality to light:
    • He simply states: “I who speak to you am He.”
    • The Greek is “γ εμι,” meaning, “I am”, the Greek equivalent to YHWH in Hebrew- a statement Jesus makes several times in the Gospel of John, typically called on of Jesus’ “I Am” statements tying Him in to being Divine in nature

Closing/Wrap-up:
Jesus revealed His nature of the Messiah-God to a Samaritan woman despite many cultural and religious taboos. He also declared prophetically to her that, “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” We have been freed from legalistic worship, from bloody animal sacrifices that only swept sin under the rug. Through the sacrifice of Christ we are able to worship God in spirit and truth. We have access as children of God to the Father because of Christ. Our worship can be genuine because of the grace of God that has brought us freedom. Wherever we are we can reach God as we worship.

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