“Leaving Our Water Pots” (Ready to Worship S2E3)

 

ReadyToWorship
Season 2, Episode 3
For Friday, August 21, 2015
“Leaving Our Water Pots”

HOST: Wade Webster

 

 

Show Notes:

  • The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship took place between Jesus and a woman of Samaria. The woman who came to draw water from Jacob’s well, ended up leaving without her water pot. In addition to leaving a physical water pot behind, the Samaritan woman left behind the spiritual water pots of ignorance, prejudice, and tradition. As we get ready to worship this week, we must also leave behind whatever water pots might hinder us from worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

 

Episode Transcript:

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24).

Most would consider these words to be at the heart of the greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship. I am always amazed as I stop to ponder where, when, and to whom these words were spoken.

The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship didn’t take place in a temple, a synagogue, or church building; but rather, on the side of a well.

The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship didn’t take place in Geneva, Rome, or Jerusalem; but rather, in the city of Sychar in  the despised region of Samaria.

The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship didn’t take place with a learned doctor, philosopher, or lawyer; but rather, with a commoner who came to draw water.

The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship didn’t take place with a holy man; but rather, with a worldly woman.

The greatest discussion that ever took place on the subject of worship didn’t take place before an audience of thousands; but rather, before an audience of one.

For sure, our God doesn’t always do things the way that we would do them. However, we can rest assured that He always does them right. He does all things well (Mk. 7:37).

I believe that there is much that we can learn about worship from the Samaritan woman; especially, about what we must leave behind as we come to worship. Once the Samaritan woman learned who Jesus was, John records that she “left her waterpot” (John 4:28). The Samaritan woman was so excited about meeting the Lord that she forgot all about why she came to the well in the first place. In addition to leaving a physical water pot behind, the Samaritan woman left some spiritual water pots also.

First, the Samaritan woman left behind the waterpot of ignorance. The Samaritan woman didn’t know very much about true worship when her conversation with Christ began. However, she wouldn’t remain ignorant long. She wanted to know more. She was hungry for truth. She was willing to ask questions and ready to accept answers. She searched and she found (John 5:39).  In like manner, we must leave the water pot of ignorance when we come to worship. We must come hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Mt. 5:6). We must receive what we hear with readiness of mind and search the Scriptures daily to make sure that what we have heard are so (Acts 17:11).

Second, the Samaritan woman left behind the waterpot of prejudice. As you may know, there was great prejudice that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans of Jesus’ day. In fact, the prejudice was so great that Jews would often go miles out of the way to keep from passing through Samaria. However, on this occasion, Jesus broke that practice and passed through the heart of Samaria. The text reveals that He needed to go through Samaria (John 4:4). Did he need to go through Samaria because of time constraints? After all, it was the shortest route. Did he need to go through Samaria to break down the racial walls that men had erected? For sure, those walls needed to be broken down. Could there have been another reason for going through Samaria? Could this woman have been the reason? The text doesn’t tell us. Whatever the reason or reasons, the Lord, who regarded not the person of any man (Mk. 12:14), was about to come face to face with a woman who embodied all the prejudices of her day. When he requested a drink of water the Samaritan woman responded, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9).  This woman’s prejudice was evident in her response. However, she would little by little leave this water pot of prejudice. It is fascinating to watch the prejudice slowly seep out of her. She went from identifying Jesus as a Jew (4:9) to addressing him as Sir (4:11), as a prophet (4:19), and finally as the Messiah (4:25). She would ultimately go into the city and tell all who would listen about the Man who told her all things that she ever did (4:29).  Today, like this woman, we must be willing to leave our prejudices behind. We must realize that there is no respect of persons with God. We must realize that in every nation those who fear God and work righteousness are accepted of Him (Acts 10:34-35).

Third, the Samaritan woman left behind the water pot of tradition. For generations her family had been worshipping in a different mountain and in a different way (John 4:20). No doubt, many of them were going to continue to do so. It must have been very hard for the Samaritan woman to break with this tradition.   However, when she acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, she was acknowledging Him as the ultimate authority regarding where, when, and how to worship. Today, we must also be willing to leave the water pot of tradition. Perhaps, we come from a religious background where mechanical instruments were used in worship or from a background where the Lord’s Supper was only observed on a monthly or quarterly basis. Realizing that Jesus is Lord, we must submit to His authority (Col. 3:17). The heart, and not the harp, must be instrument that we use (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). Furthermore, we must observe the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week, just as the early Christians did (Acts 20:7).  Although we love our families, and want them to be saved, we must not love them more than the Lord (Mt. 10:37). We must be willing to leave the water pot of tradition and take hold of the word of truth (2 Tim 1:13).

As we get ready to worship this week, let’s make sure that we leave our water pots behind. Let’s make sure that we leave behind anything that would keep us from worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

 

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