In the following dialogue at Jacob’s Well between Jesus and the Samaritan woman we find an exchange that is pertinent to our day and time. There are several teaching elements that can be drawn upon here, but let’s review the exchange AFTER they broke the ice and she felt safe to speak freely.
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, 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.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 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.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4)
Her criticism of Judaism was that they claimed God could only be worshiped in one place – Jerusalem.
Don’t Christians teach and demonstrate by their actions that a person must go to a particular place (i.e. church) to worship God? Haven’t they shown by their actions by building churches among remote tribes that “in that building is God”? The problem with this approach is who controls it? Is it man or a religion, or is it God? It is man, man is flawed, Jesus never said to build a church EVER.Neither did any of the apostles and Paul ministered for over 30 years and never once taught nor demonstrated the old Judaic way of building a structure (ex. synagogue or temple) and go there to worship God.
Again, what was the first thing expressed by this non-Jewish woman to Rabbi Jesus? The Jewish claim there was only one place to worship God. Jesus did not refute that that was the case, but affirmed it no longer needed to be that way! The day had come when people did not need to go to a particular place in order to worship God anymore. Jesus went on to explain why, teaching her that God is actually a spirit and can be worshiped in spirit (and truth).
He already explained to the woman that within her was God’s Spirit and that it could flow like a river through her if she:
a. Communed with God within her
b. Pursued truth (God’s Holy Word)
Are we conducting ourselves as Jesus prescribed 2000 years ago? No. There is much to be undone so the public today, like the woman at the well back then, no longer believe that a person must go a physical place i.e. church to commune with God.