As Jesus and His disciples walked from Judea back to Galilee, they passed through Samaria.

About mid-day they stopped at Jacob’s well to rest. While the disciples went into town to buy some food, Jesus remained at the well. A Samaritan woman came to the well for water and Jesus engaged her in conversation.

That was rather unusual, because as the text says, “Jews do not associate with Samaritans.” (John 4:9, NIV) It was also unusual, because no respectable Jewish Rabbi would have been seen talking to any woman in public.

As Jesus began to focus the conversation on her and her personal issues, she attempted to change the subject. Her question dealt with worship. Where is it the proper place to worship? Jews would say one needed to worship in Jerusalem, but Samaritans worshiped at Mount Gerizim.

Jesus gets right to the heart of worship. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. (John 4:23, NIV) Worship is not a matter of the proper place. It is not a matter of where it is a matter of WHO. True worship is the matter of the heart, a heart that seeks the heavenly Father. 

“True worship is not confined to any place or building on earth. It is not concerned with stained-glass windows, ecclesiastical garments, candles, liturgies, or incense.

Rather, in genuine worship we pass from earth to heaven by faith, and there, in the presence of God, we pour out our souls in thanksgiving, praise, and homage to the Lord for all He is and for all He is and for all He has done for us.” (Alone in Majesty by William MacDonald)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.