This story is multi-faceted and can preach on many different levels; however, for our purposes we discussed the issue of worship.
Within this story we have a conversation between two people. A Samaritan Woman and Jesus. In one of the most offensive ‘witnessing’ stories we have in the bible, the discussion turns to worship (v.19,20). This is absurd. In the context of what we read here in this text, Jesus has just called out this woman for sexual immorality. Instead of being offended, this woman identifies and professes Jesus as a prophet and then asks a question about worship. This conversation is complex in many ways and yet, it centers in on one of the most prolific statements Jesus makes in regards to worship. Jesus states, “…the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” (v.23)
This conversation strips away everything we think we know about worship. What it is, and where it happens. So the questions of the night were: “What is worship? When do we worship? What do we worship?” In the story, the Samaritan woman seems fixated on where she worships as opposed to whom she is worshipping. This is the struggle of our human nature. We have defined worship to simply be music, and to simply be a moment in a church service. We are not focused on the object of our worship, or as the text implies, “What we know.” (v.22). Jesus tells this woman that “true worshippers” worship God “in spirit and in truth”. The implication here is that worship should be happening always.
Understanding that we are ‘spirit beings’, made and reflecting the image of God who “is Spirit” (v.24), we are living in the spirit. This means we are not disconnected from who we are as spiritual beings. So when should we worship? Always. What, or who, should we worship? God. What, or who, do we actually worship? This was the hot topic for the night.
If we are truthful with ourselves, we have to admit that our spiritual beings are constantly worshipping the wrong things. Music, television, clothing, education, people, etc. The list goes on and on. Jesus is well aware that worship is happening. He is not concerned with place, so much as “who”. He knows that human beings, as spiritual beings, will worship. We are worshipers. The question here is: Are we “true” worshippers? Are we the ones who worship our Father in every thought, word, and deed? It is a heavy call and an amazing challenge. It is something we must be challenging ourselves with on a daily basis.