The Call for a Decision
20 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship for salvation is of the Jews. 23 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. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, I who speak to you am He.”
The Mountain in question was Gerizim, which at the foot lay Sychar and Jacob’s Well. The Samaritans had erected a temple on Gerizim about 432 BCE (BC). But this had lain in ruins since its destruction by John Hyrcanus about 129 BCE. As so many do today, the Samarians had a form of the true religion yet within their teachings they mingled many pagan traditions. They also had the Law which was written by Moses. This was the only part of the Old Testament Scriptures that they possessed or believed in.
To this woman and to most Jews and Samaritans, religion consisted essentially in the forms connected with worship. Like most Jews of her time and the Samarians, she did not realize that “true worshippers” are those who “worship the Father in Spirt and in truth” (vs 23).
This sound very familiar with the truths that were presented to Nicodemus on his midnight interview with Jesus upon the Mount of Olives.
Christ uses perhaps the most intimate of terms available as He says, “Woman, believe me.” In no other situation did Jesus speak so frankly, as he did to this woman, who has had this desire for something better awakened in her. She has seen and felt her conviction of personal need and now Jesus calls for a decision to acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus had so plainly given the evidence, guided her to the point of decision, shown her of her need and explained that many were in need for a personal relationship with the Messiah.
Like so many of our time,, the Samarians claim to follow their Bible, yet they fail to really realize what they worship or how they worship.
God had made the Jews His chosen witnesses to the nations of the earth. They had become the recipients and appointed custodians of His revealed will. So it is with all Christ’s faithful disciples today. He has made them the recipients and appointed custodians of His revealed will. As it was in Christ’s time, it is not necessary to await some further time to enter into true worship and receive the “living water.” True worship is not any one building or buildings spread out across the world, instead as Jesus said, true worship is of the heart. It does not consist of ritual forms conducted at some place where we all gather together. Genuine worship, says Jesus is a matter of the heart and all else is false.
The prophet Micah stated it so well when he wrote. “Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, Ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
God is ever seeking those who are willing to worship Him “In spirit and in truth and encourages them to come to Him. For you see and the woman was beginning to understand, Salvation is not the result of men’s feeble efforts at seeking out an indifferent God, but of unwearied efforts of a heavenly Father who, with considerate compassion, seeks for his lost children.
As Jesus did with the woman of Samaria he will give more than amble evidence of who He is. Will she respond, will you respond to His call, His pleading voice?