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Monday, August 16, 2010

More on Samaritans

Here is John's story of Jesus meeting the Woman at the Well. John has some intensely personal stories. John 3 has Jesus' interaction with Nicodemus in which he makes it clear that transformation is necessary (and, btw, that literalism is stupid). This story from John 4 has Jesus meeting this woman while he is alone. I've always thought it starts off almost flirtatious. And that the woman was not particularly interested. When he starts going off on her multiple husbands it takes a turn, but then--when in other stories Jesus would tell her to get her life in order--we have this:

Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
It isn't about where you worship, or what your traditions are; it is about spirit and truth. What's that pharse we say from time to time? Oh right, Amen.

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