I. There are certain TRUTHS which a person cannot just “accept,” he must discover, explore and experience them. Two of the main themes are God’s grace, and along with that the Holy Spirit.
Where you find one, the other is sure to “follow” if not only in the shadows of prophecy.
A. The Samaritan woman had taken the words of Jesus literally, to mean physically thirst quenching water. “Living water” refers (physically) to water which is running, moving, like a fresh water spring. This water is not stagnant, or found in a cistern. It is a percolating pool from the subsoil. Jesus was speaking on a different level and using “water” metaphorically, however the need which the woman had and which mankind has… is real. Jesus knew very well, that they were not on the same page…
(One day while living in Royston, Ga., Mom and Dad were sitting on the front porch relaxing. They were about 10 feet apart, sitting their high back rockers. Mom had a new ‘Walkman’ with ear phones and was listening to the Lawrence Welk Band. Dad was listening to the sounds of nature (crickets). Mom said to dad, “Isn’t that beautiful!” Dad responded, “Yes sweetheart, and just think, they do it all with their legs.” Dad used this story to illustrate how often we are not on the same page with someone we are trying to communicate with. This leads to misunderstanding of course.)
The Samaritan lady was not on the same page with the Master, but He fixed that. He was speaking of that which satisfies the heart and soul…spiritual water or the Holy Spirit.
B. “Our father Jacob”. The Northern tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh were largely the ones who would later be carried away into captivity. The ones who remained of course intermarried with those that were moved into that area. Results are the Samaritans. They still claimed to be people of God. Muslims claim Ishmael is the true heir of Abraham’s blessings (not Isaac), and call God “Allah”. All who are not Muslim, they claim are ‘infidels’. Christians call God… God (YaHWeH) pronounced Yahweh (Jehovah). Christians point to Abraham as their ‘father’, to whom God gave the promises based on his FAITH (NOT LAW). (Genesis 12:1-4; 15:6; Romans 4). All others are considered ‘unbelievers’ and need the cleansing blood of Jesus to be saved. However, simply being of the physical lineage of Abraham (which Jews of Jesus’ day claimed) was of no help spiritually. “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.” (Matthew 3:9; cf. Luke 3:8; I Peter 2:5).
C. “Are you greater than our father Jacob?” This was her question to Jesus. The answer obviously is YES! While there are many who are considered great in the Old Testament (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses etc…) none are like Jesus! Their place and part in God’s plan to save mankind all point to the actual Savior… Jesus!
D. Jesus had another way of looking at the word ‘water’. “And He said to me, “It is done, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost” (Revelation 21:6). “For the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their Shepherd, and shall guide them to the springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17). What a loving Father we have! What a Savior we have! This alone should and is so reassuring… but there is more, He is more.
Jesus says I AM LIVING BREAD! (John 6:48-51); I AM LIGHT! (John 8:12); I AM THE DOOR FOR THE SHEEP! (John 10:9); I AM THE SHEPHERD! (John 10:11-14); I AM THE RESURRECTION/LIFE! (John 11:25-26).
Dad liked “Popeye,” the old cartoon which some of you remember from your childhood days. Popeye would always have a pipe in his mouth, and would be walking down the road after giving “Bluto” a beating, and sing “I’m Popeye the sailor man…I am what I am, I’m Popeye the sailor man.” (Don’t forget the “toot-toot” from the pipe). There was no glossing over who he was, and he was not ashamed of it. Popeye was genuine… Jesus is the real thing… He is genuine and unashamed… “I am what I am…”
II. “No more thirst!” “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). These are the ones who do not have a “DRUG PROBLEM.”
“I had a drug problem”
“I had a drug problem when I was a young person.
I was drug to church on Sunday morning;
I was drug to church on Sunday night;
I was drug to church on Wednesday night;
I was drug to Sunday school;
I was drug to Vacation Bible School;
I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents,
told a lie, brought home a bad report card or didn’t speak with respect.
Those drugs are still in my behavior
in everything I do, say, and think.
They are stronger than cocaine, crack or heroin.”
(Copied from James Woodruff’s book “Sayings That Saved My Sanity,”
I no longer have a “drug problem,” because these habits are now part of an insatiable thirst to grow in His grace! Jesus says, all who “hunger and thirst FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS shall be SATISFIED.”
It is no longer a “hunger and thirst” which cannot be satisfied, or quenched… The Word became flesh, Jesus came to this earth… and in HIM all is satisfied. He is food enough for the soul. He is water enough for the soul. I am not “drug” any longer… I RUN TO THE WATER HOLE! I RUN TO THE DINNER TABLE! The “river of water of life, clear as crystal (flows) from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1). Don’t ask nor expect the world to understand that… THEY CANNOT. Do not ask nor expect the world to appreciate and live like that THEY CANNOT!
III. “True Worship.” WHILE FOCUSING ON TRUTH IN WORSHIP WE HAVE ALL BUT MISSED OUT ON THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF IT. LEGALISM AND INSTITUTIONALISM HAS ALMOST KILLED THE HEART AND JOY OF WORSHIP. Jesus says “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Worship in truth without the spirit aspect is false worship. Spiritual worship without truth is also false worship. Seeking to find balance in scriptures is not all that difficult. We just have to lay aside some of our pre-determined ideas… and go back to the scriptures, not forgetting the foundational principle of GRACE. This means understanding that we are accepted in Christ, filled with the Spirit, growing in grace, and are not perfected under any other premise than His blood and righteousness. To be saved by grace, does not stop at the waters of baptism… Our obedience to God is far from perfect… and this includes our worship… (I think I’ll stand on that.) We are saved by GRACE… and whatever “works” and “worship” which comes from grace, comes BECAUSE we are going to heaven, not in order to GET THERE! Worship is NOT A PERFORMANCE, NOR PART OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION. Worship is the result of one being saved by grace, and a life surrendered to Him. PLACES ARE NOT IMPORTANT (Vs. 20-21), but the heart is! Truth in worship is important and so is spirit. We do not worship on a “better to be safe than sorry” basis, but on a “saved by grace” basis!
Quit debating about the ACTS of worship, and WORSHIP GOD! Everyday worship Him. Riding in the car, worship Him. If the radio is playing or a tape or CD with good “Christian music,” SING ALONG and PRAISE GOD! Give as the occasion arises, and be blessed in your giving. Study and pray as you go through life… Every day is a day to rejoice in the Lord!
What makes worship FALSE?!
1. The OBJECT (Matthew 4:9-10; 6:19-24)
2. HEARTS that are wrong (Matthew 13:15; 15:8, 18; 22:37; 24:48).
– GRUDGES (Matthew 5:23-24).
– BITTERNESS (Matthew 6:14-15).
3. (You can add some more things here I am sure…)
We are speaking to born again people here… Because we are in Christ… we worship… sense we are His temple… and priests… we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice every day, in every way we can.
Living water and worship… both are mentioned in one chapter and spoken to the same lady… and in this scribe’s mind, if our worship is not fed by the streams of this “living water,” it will be dry and unsatisfying to say the least. Both are connected!
Grow in grace!