The Healing of a longing Soul
"I who speak to you am He."
When Jesus offered the woman drink that would satisfy her for eternity, she was intrigued. However, she did not realize what she was asking? She was still thinking in the realm of the physical. But for Christ to give her the water that would spring up to eternal life, He would have to confront her with the sins that she desperately wanted to hide. In response to her request, Jesus asks a question that penetrated the depth of her soul and challenged her to admit what she wanted to remain hidden. He simply asks her to go and call her husband. It was a simple request, but it opened a conversation she quickly wanted to close. Instead of admitting her marital failures, she tried to misdirect the question with an answer that was only partially true. But Christ probed deeper and laid bare her soul by revealing her shame; not only did she have five former husbands, but she was now living with a man who was not her husband. Christ was not being cruel; He was confronting her with the reality of her sin. Christ knows that it is only when we fully come face to face with the guilt of our past that we can fully realize the grace and forgiveness Christ has to offer.
In response, she quickly changes the topic, hoping to divert the conversation away from herself; she brings up the religious debate dividing the Jews and The Samaritans. She was not yet ready to deal with the implications of Christ's probing statements, so she changed to the topic. However, rather than get embroiled in a meaningless theological debate, Christ pushes her to have a different perspective- one focusing on our personal response to God. The real issue is not what the Jews or Samaritans believe; the real problem is how one has a personal relationship with God. To experience the salvation God offers, one has to be transformed inwardly. It is not about location and ritual, but transformation and surrender. The word "worship" means "to bow down and express one's allegiance to a king." Genuine faith is not external but internal; it is to surrender and pledge one's allegiance to God, something neither the Jews nor the Samaritans were willing to do. To worship God, one must worship in spirit. In other words, genuine worship is not an external act; it is the inward expression of the heart when we acknowledge God's supremacy and sovereignty over our lives. It is not based on a ritual or feelings but upon the truth revealed in scriptures and centered upon Christ. Genuine worship is always grounded in the knowledge of and obedience to the revelation of God, both in the person of Christ and in God's written Word. Worship devoid of truth is mere sentimentalism, and worship that is not an extension of our soul is mere ritualism.
In His response, Jesus then points her to the actual answer she seeks. The healing of her broken life comes when God removes the guilt and domination of sin and replaces it with His righteousness. This is by placing our faith in Christ. In verse 26, Christ reveals the actual water that will satisfy the thirst of her soul. The water is himself! Christ is our answer, and He is the one who brings us salvation and forgiveness of sin. If your life is broken by sin, recognize that Christ came to bring redemption and restoration. A message that is revealed in His life and His Word. He bears open our soul and confronts us with our sin so that we might experience not only His grace, but we might experience HIM!