"Sir, I Perceive..."
“Sir, I Perceive…”
We continue in John 4...Jesus and His encounter with a woman at a well.
Jesus had just told the woman that “you have five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband…”
I have always enjoyed the response of the woman.
19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”
Well, ya reck’n?
Immediately she turns the discussion toward “religious” matters.
Was this a “defensive” move on her part?
Was she truly curious about the issues she is about to bring up?
Was she argumentative?
Was she sincere?
20 "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
This debate goes back hundreds of years.
Jeroboam, the first King of Israel...the northern Kingdom...feared that he would lose the people if he allowed them to travel to Jerusalem to worship as the Lord instructed.
Jeroboam established his own religious system. This was a major undercurrent of all we see in the Old Testament. Man’s self-created system of approaching and worshiping God - the way that man wanted to do it.
1 Kings 12
25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there And he went out from there and built Penuel.
26 Jeroboam said in his heart, "Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.
27 "If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah."
28 So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."
29 He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
30 Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan.
31 And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi.
32 Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made and he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
33 Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.
The King had devised in his own heart a system of worship.
- 2 golden calves (I guess because it worked so well the first time…?)
- made houses on high places
- made priests (from among all the people...not sons of Levi)
- instituted a feast
Do not forget.
He sought to worship the Most High God, but his true motivation was control of the people.
He walked in rebellion...not at all unlike Cain.
Here is a short video that explains more…
Such is the same today.
Most of what is done in the name of the Lord falls within the pattern of Jeroboam - man-made worship, devised within our heart.
There is much debate about such today.
This is what the woman was questioning.
She had a chance to speak to a prophet.
Could he tell her the proper place and manner to worship?
I believe she truly wanted to know.
I believe she was amazed that Jesus had asked for water, that He had offered Living Water (though she had yet to understand) and that He knew of her life.
Later we will see Jesus’ response - one of the most profound proclamations related to worship in the Word.
For today, know that folk want to know the Truth.
They want to know…
- do we worship here/there?
- what is worship?
- what about the inconsistencies we see?
- is this all there is?
If you are a true believer you have the Truth.