Jesus said to her, "Woman believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such 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" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He." John 4:19-26
When Jesus finishes making clear to her the truth about how and where we really worship God her response is now different than the one in verse nineteen. In verse nineteen she had decided that He was definitely a man sent by God and she had declared to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." Now after He had taken the time to reveal things to her about God, which as a Samaritan she believed was something the Messiah would do, her thoughts turn to the Messiah who she has been waiting for and hoping in all her life. Her immediate response is to declare to Him her faith in the Messiah because she now has a question in her mind as to who He really is. Is He the Messiah?
So, here we are. At the moment that makes this whole 'chance' encounter the most perfect encounter possible! She is at the place where she is acknowledging her hope, and her belief in the Messiah and I love that Jesus doesn't keep her waiting! He reveals to her that her hope is not in vain and He declares to her, "I who speak to you am He." What a revelation! This whole encounter was destined for this moment when He made Himself truly known to her and now she like you and I, has to make a choice.
Will she believe the words He just spoke are the truth? Will she worship Him as the Messiah, the Christ? After all He had said just moments earlier said that, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit
and truth." Remember that the word truth meant, true, as not concealing so doesn't it also imply that not only do we go before Him to worship Him with our hearts totally open; with nothing hid, but also that He is open with us as well?
In the garden when they sinned and went and 'hid' themselves from the presence of God' we need to remember that God had come to walk in the cool of the day with them. They lived in the garden. God would come and seek them out. He was there not just to know them but to have them know Him! He has always had a heart to reveal Himself as God! As a God who loves us! Jesus not only explained about spirit and truth but became an example of it as He plainly declared and revealed to her, "I who speak to you am He." He didn't keep His identity concealed from her and in so doing He invited her into relationship with Him.
True worship - Worshiping in spirit and in truth - is a relationship that I think only happens when we go before Him with all our love for Him exposed for Him to see but I also think, because of Jesus' example, that it happens when He has made Himself and His love for us known first. I think its a place where love is declared both directions. Us to Him and Him to us!
I think true worship happens as we love Him with all our hearts and I think that only comes after He reveals His love for us and we believe Him! I think its not just about our declaring our heart to Him but being able to let Him declare His heart to us as well! Right from the first time He looked at man and said, "It is very good." His heart has been to know us, to love us and more importantly, to have us know Him! In this moment when He reveals who He is to this woman He is giving her the chance to worship in spirit and in truth. She hadn't sought Him out. He sought her. She was about her daily tasks. He was there for this very purpose. This moment in this encounter was to make known to her who He was. He revealed His heart for her - will she respond? Will you?