Salvation is from the Jews
Devotional by David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning devotional study (study, observe, apply, pray).
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” ESV
When Jesus told her details about her life that a mere man could not have known, she knew He was from God, but she did not want to talk about her life of sin and pain, so she asked a safe theological question about the acceptable location of worship. Jesus told her that God is Spirit, so geography is not as important as the inside of a worshipper. External rituals are not sufficient. If takes a clean and open heart to connect spiritually. But, it is not just “spirituality” that connects a person with God, it also requires truth – a knowledge of the true God and the acceptable way to approach Him. It can be from anywhere, but it is only through faith that the Righteous God will accept a substitutionary atonement on behalf of the sinner. When Jesus said “salvation is of the Jews” He was being very narrow. Other religions do not and can not offer a sinless substitute. “Devout Samaritans” would not be acceptable unless they believed in the Jewish Messiah. It reminds me of about 35 years ago I was speaking to a group of Jewish women at the synagogue and one of them asked me if they had to believe in my Jesus to be saved. I replied that actually it was the opposite – that I had to believe in their Messiah to be saved. That is what Jesus meant by “Truth”. It takes more than good intentions and spiritual tingling. It takes faith in God’s one and only provision. Jesus said He was the Messiah and He was telling her “all things” required to be an acceptable worship of Yahweh.
Lord Jesus, Thank You for being “the Truth” and speaking the truth to that woman. Nicodemus was one of the best and most highly regarded people in Israel, and this woman was one of the worst and least esteemed people in Samaria, but You offered her the same Life and forgiveness you offered to Nicodemus. They both needed You and Your atonement. Thank You that You have given me/us the same offer that You gave to those two so long ago. Thank You for revealing the necessary Truth, and for Your Spirit transforming me/us from death to Life! What a privilege to worship You from anywhere, and to know others are also worshiping You all around the world, now and forever! Heaven will be wonderful joining others redeemed from every people group, and all worshiping You in spirit and in truth. Amen