Jesus sits down at a well and asks a woman for a drink. She’s a Samaritan and cannot fathom that he would ask her for this. If she only knew it was also the Son of God asking. Jesus proceeds to speak to her things a normal man could not possibly know and she is blown away. There’s something about being known. When someone close to you remembers something about you or does something for you before you can even say a word, there’s something powerful about that. We all want to be known. So Jesus telling this woman “everything she ever did” is enough for her to put faith in him. The conversation, naturally, turns to worship rituals.
No, seriously, the first thing she brings up is that her people worship right on the mountain they sit on and the Jews have told them they must worship in Jerusalem. If Jews don’t associate with Samaritans, how welcome do you really think they were at the Temple? This is an issue that is pressing to her. If she is going to put her faith in the Messiah, she wants to know whether the customs and rules are going to keep her away from serving him. Jesus’ response is classic.
“Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
“…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.”
Jesus institutes a new set of rules for how to worship him. Truthfully and in his spirit. There’s no service order. No method of doing small groups. He does not mandate that you must first sing two fast songs before you can sing one slow one and then take the offering. He simply says, “be real.”
May the Lord help us to be the kind of worshippers he’s looking for.