Faithlife Sermons

The Place of Worship

Encounter: A Life of Worship for God of Wonder  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 3 views

Jesus transforms the place of our worship by transforming us.

Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

ILLUST – My understanding of being a father vs. what fatherhood is really like. My encounter with this little child transformed my thinking and transformed me.
This is a passage about worship. The Samaritan woman has an encounter with Jesus that leaves her changed.
jn4
John 4:1–6 ESV
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

Worship has no boundaries. (1-6)

Jesus talks to the woman about worship during her everyday activities.
- Jesus was talking about worship in a place that the (Jewish) religious despised.
There is no sacred / secular divide. There is no ‘place for Jesus’ and ‘place for everything else.’
There is no division in the world like that - the only place a division like this could exist is in your heart.
The only boundaries set on how / when we worship are boundaries we set - not God.
The bad news:
you can’t play ‘follower of Jesus’ on Sunday and follow the world on Monday.
The good news:
You can leverage your everyday for worship. (This is the first ‘water cooler talk’)
**You can leverage your everyday for worship. (This is the first ‘water cooler talk’)
- Jesus was talking about worship in a place that the (Jewish) religious despised.
Jesus was talking about worship in a place that the (Jewish) religious despised.
The places that have Jesus the least are the places that need Jesus the most
More often than not, the places that have Jesus the least are the places that are avoided by the religious the most.
The Jews believed the Samaritans were spiritually wrong, and yet, Jesus chose to speak with this woman about God rather than avoid her.
Are there places you would rather go around than go through? People you would rather avoid than speak with because they don’t know Jesus or are different from you?
John 4:7–15 ESV
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
jn 4:

Worship is possible for everyone through Jesus. (7-15)

*Possible for EVERYONE
A woman from Samaria came. . . The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
This woman already had three strikes against her:
Woman
Samaritan
Adulterer
And yet, Jesus believes she is worthy of his time.
*Through JESUS
The Pillar New Testament Commentary: The Gospel according to John 9. Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (4:1–42)

John may intend a contrast between the woman of this narrative and Nicodemus of ch. 3. He was learned, powerful, respected, orthodox, theologically trained; she was unschooled, without influence, despised, capable only of folk religion. He was a man, a Jew, a ruler; she was a woman, a Samaritan, a moral outcast. And both needed Jesus.

If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
There is nothing this woman could do about being a woman
She can’t help where she was born as a Samaritan
She can’t change the stigma of her past
Jesus doesn’t write her off. Because, through Jesus, worship (a restored relationship, a redeemed past) is possible for everyone, but it is only possible through Jesus.
Only Jesus has the ability to make her status as a woman and her place as a despised race a non-issue. Only Jesus is able to cleanse her from her sins and redeem her from the stigma and guilt which is keeping her from being able to truly worship God.
Galatians 3:28 ESV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:28
Jesus did all this by meeting with HER. He didn’t make her change before he would speak with her. He entered into her shame and pain to speak with her.
At this point though, the woman was more concerned about what she could give to Jesus than about asking Jesus for what she needed.
The woman was more concerned about what she could give to Jesus than about asking Jesus for what she needed.
No on e is beyond the reach of Jesus.
ILLUST - Mass murderer coming to Jesus in prison or rock star turning to Jesus after a life of drugs and sex.
NO ONE is beyond the reach of Jesus - Jesus will go anywhere and talk to anyone to show them how to worship God through Jesus.
The real question is, as his followers, are we really willing to do the same?
Maybe you identify with the woman:
you’re at the well by yourself because you are alone - either because of the choices you’ve made or the ones that were given to you.
you have this mistaken idea that others are more able or more worthy to worship and be close to God.
Who is on your list of ‘lost causes?’ They have no influence in their lives or interest in Jesus; they’re still stuck in sin; or they’ve sinned yet again. Before you write them off, remember - you were just as lost. It required the same amount of love for God to want to save you. It cost the same blood to save you.
John 4:16–18 ESV
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

Worship reveals our deepest places. (16-18)

An encounter with Jesus reveals our deepest needs/hurts/sin
This is why some people avoid worship – they don’t want Jesus to know them at their deepest levels
Having our lives revealed can be uncomfortable.
ILLUST - Preaching class- one of the most uncomfortable part of class was having to watch ourselves preach on video. We saw all our imperfections revealed. Thankfully, God answered my prayers and the DVD player broke when it was my turn.
Jesus reveals these things in our lives in order to redeem them.
**What if Jesus met you at your place of shame and calls out your deepest sin? Would you go to the well?
Are you ok with the fact that worship - an encounter with Jesus will reveal your deepest places? If not, you need to ask yourself why - Is there a sin you are unwilling to repent of or a pain you are unwilling to release?
The woman didn’t see this as bad thing. Why? Because Jesus offered grace.
John 4:19 ESV
The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.

Grace is found in worship. (19)

Jesus is the only one who could truly judge the woman.
Jesus will come again to judge. We will have or lives revealed - the question is, do you want it revealed with Jesus as Redeemer or Judge?
Jesus revealed that he had already known her darkest sins and while everyone else was avoiding her, there Jesus was choosing to meet her and speak with her.
John 4:20–26 ESV
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “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. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Jesus transforms worship. (20-26)

(from a location and tradition to spirit and truth).
Believe me (pisteuo)
The woman understood worship to be a place and tradition Jesus redefined worship as spirit and truth
- The Samaritan woman wanted an external debate to avoid an internal exposure
It is always easier to talk theology than to deal with truth that is personally distressing.
- D. A. Carson
Sometimes we can use our struggles of our thoughts about God as an excuse to not obey God.
The woman was concerned with the place of worship and the tradition of the Samaritans as opposed to the tradition of the Jews.
As she has been up until now, she was totally missing the point.
Before Jesus, the presence of God was physically located. Now, because of Jesus, the presence of God is spiritually applied.
Because of Jesus, worship will no longer be bound by place and tradition but by spirit and truth.
God is spirit
The characteristics of true worship are
it is God-centered or spiritual not outward religious rituals, traditions, or practices
It is based and grounded on truth - specifically on the Word-Made-Flesh - Jesus. He is the fullest expression of God to us.
The mode (and place) of worship is now to be in spirit and truth, which transcends all racial and geographical considerations.
Worship is no longer at a place to encounter the presence of God – the place of God (and the presence of God) is now going to encounter the people.
This worship can take place only in and through him: he is the true temple (2:19–22), he is the resurrection and the life (11:25). The passion and exaltation of Jesus constitute the turning point upon which the gift of the Holy Spirit depends (7:38–39; 16:7); but that salvation-historical turning point is possible only because of who Jesus is. Precisely for that reason, the hour is not only ‘coming’ but also ‘has now come’.
- D. A. Carson
John 4:27–30 ESV
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him.

jn4

Genuine worship leads others to worship. (27-30)

John 4:39–42 ESV
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
I love what the woman says, ‘Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. (Fearful) Can this be the Christ? (Grace)’
jn 4:39-
We are called to be witnesses. The Samaritan woman gives us an example of a witness.
The best evangelistic message you can have is the story of how Jesus met you in your darkest place and has changed your life.
- ** If someone sat down next to you today and asked you who Jesus is to you, what would you say?
- **Do you have a story to tell?
- **When was the last time you told your story of your encounter with Jesus and how he transformed your worship from a worship of self and sin to a worship of Jesus?

Conclusion

So, If Jesus were to sit down with you for a coffee, what would he bring up? Jesus knows the deepest part of you - what would he want to talk about?
I know his end game is to call you to a worship that hits your soul and is focused on Jesus.
We can’t think of this as a nice moral story. Jesus still breaks boundaries to sit with anyone who will sit with him.
Jesus still wants to expose your deepest hurts, sin, and shame - with grace and redemption.
He wants you to be willing to do the same in his name.
Jesus transforms the place of our worship by transforming us.
- PRAY -
Related Media
Related Sermons