“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (3:5-6)
We are born in a new and powerful way when we surrender our lives to Jesus. It is not a subtle change of habits, diet, values or routines, it’s a movement of God, reaching our very core. All because He so loved the world.
I’ve heard this story of the woman at the well all throughout my life, but last year it was presented to me in a new way. Keeping on this theme of Spirit and truth, I’d like to share with you.
There are 5 key things to notice about this gal:
- She’s Samaritan: a half breed, at best. She comes from a long line of Israelites who have disqualified themselves. What you’ll remember from Kings, is that Jeroboam set up alternative sites of worship for the Northern Kingdom to keep them from traveling to Jerusalem. This all went horribly wrong.
- She’s educated: she’s fully aware of the tension between her people and the “pure Jews”, concerning the rules of worship.
- She’s a woman: even if she was a Southern Israelite, the closest she could ever get to the temple is the porch.
- She’s been divorced 5 times: from our western mindset, we could blame this on her, but back then only the men decided divorce. Usually it was allowed if you discovered your wife couldn’t give you an heir. 5 men may have discovered this and sent her away. Barren, and living with whatever man will help provide for her.
- She fetches her water at noon: she’s a social outcast. Most women would do this in the morning and it doubled as a social hour.
On all accounts, this woman is painfully aware that she has been locked out of God’s people. She’s disqualified from worship and her life is totally unacceptable to her peers. It’s a pretty hopeless situation. Surely the long awaited Messiah isn’t coming for her.
This woman goes down in history as the first person Jesus reveals Himself to. And what does He say?
“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But 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.” (4:21-23)
The Father is looking for someone like you to worship Him. She tells her friends and they meet Jesus for themselves, declaring, “we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (4:42)
What things about you make you feel disqualified to worship God? Our enemy is called the accuser and he is always going to try to make us believe we are too far from grace. My friends, Jesus says this isn’t so.
Let your spirit rejoice and be glad. Worship Him in truth: Truth of who He is, who you are, and what He’s done in you.