The Samaritan woman was shocked. The Jews had no dealings with her kind, but there was Jesus, asking her for a drink. Jesus told her that anyone who drank the water in Jacob's well would thirst again. But, then He went on to say that He had water and that anyone who drinks of the water that He had, would never thirst again. He said that it would become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
Later in their conversation Jesus made a profound statement. If Christians could grasp the importance of this statement, their lives would be changed. In verses 23-24, Jesus said,
"But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
This is extremely important. Jesus said that true worshipers worshiped the Father in spirit and truth. And He went on to say that the Father is searching for worshipers who will worship Him. Let me say this. Most of what we call worship is not worship.
When Jesus was talking to the Pharisees in Mark chapter seven, He said,
"This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men - the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." He said to them, ‘All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.'"
Does this sound familiar? All too often it does. Jesus said that the religious leaders of the day had taken the traditions of their time and made them doctrines. They had gotten to the point that they believed that cleaning the cups and pitchers in the temple in a certain manner was worship. They had taken the commandments of men and taught them as doctrines and considered that worship. My friend, that is not necessarily worship. True worship is an intimate, spiritual time with God. External things are only connected to worship by way of the spirit and truth within.
Years ago I knew a young man who was a marriage counselor. He was an intelligent person with a good personality. He had all the degrees and papers to be a marriage counselor. The only problem was that he himself had never been married. No matter how much he tried, there were some things he just couldn't understand, but he thought he did.
This is where some Christians are today. They have heard the word "worship" used in their churches all their lives. They think they worship because of external actions.
God is looking for true worshipers. God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and truth. He's not looking for people who want to play church. He's not looking for those who worship with their lips only. He's looking for those who worship Him in spirit and truth.
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him." (John 4:23)