Thursday, April 7, 2011

John 4: Nuthin' fancy 'bout Spirit and Truth

By worldly standards Jesus has weird timing. When he discovers that his ministry in Judea - the New York/L.A. Market of his place and time - is really booming, he heads back to Peoria. As he says elsewhere, "my time has not yet come." Sure proof I guess that he really does listen to the Spirit.

But first he has to go through Las Vegas (well, they called it Samaria back then, but all the good people of Galilee and Judea thought of it as Sin City). To the Jews Samaritans were such vile creatures that one didn't even walk on the same dust touched by their sandals. One certainly didn't talk to them. Especially if the "them" in-the-flesh was a woman. And an adulteress.

So of course Jesus strikes up a water-cooler conversation. He breaks the ice:

"Can I have a drink?"

He turns her "you talkin' to me?!" answer into an evangelistic outreach, pretty slickly I might add. She talks about wells, he talks about the water leading to eternal life. And with a Word of Knowledge which is NOT out of my reach when I am holding the Spirit's hand, he describes her sinful lifestyle. How remarkable that these wonderful words were not first spoken in a church or temple by a priest with robes, but were spoken outdoors in a dusty frogspit of a town to an everyday woman: "Yet 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. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

All this worship in spirit and truth stuff - it's not churchy, it's not even for the Pharisees like Nicodemus, it's for your hairdresser and the checkout lady at the supermarket. Think of that!

No comments:

Post a Comment