3rd Sunday in Lent – Vicar Bartelt

S. Lent 3.20 “True Worshipers” John 4:5-26

True worshipers. That’s what the Father through Jesus is seeking to worship Him. So what does a true worshiper look like?

Well, in true Seinfeld “Opposite Land” style, he or she would be the opposite of the Samaritan woman we meet this morning with Jesus at Jacob’s well. [Maybe the whole purpose of her life was to serve as a warning for others?]. It’s high noon, on a hot day in Samaria. Jesus is not Superman. He’s weary (and thirsty!) from His journey—because He allows Himself to experience in His Body our weakness and woes in order to heal them all. He says to the Samaritan woman with that divine authority that brought everyone up short: “Give Me a drink.” No “please, if you may,” with Jesus. God commands and we ought simply to obey.

But the woman… argues with Jesus. This is not the Way! She marks Him as an Israelite prophet, and after a brief exchange, senses this might be the Christ, in Person. But instead of eagerly serving Him, she never does wet His whistle. Jesus never gets His drink. This is important, as we’ll see in a bit.

She uses religion as an excuse not to give Jesus a cup of cold water on a hot day. “Jews don’t mix with Samaritans, right?” She says sarcastically—suggesting Jesus isn’t practicing His religion properly by even speaking with her much less asking her a favor (sarcasm is such a terrible thing. I’m glad it so rarely issues from this pulpit!). Jesus gives as good as He gets (which is my excuse for sometimes practicing the art

About Vicar Bartelt

Philip Bartelt is currently working to attain a master’s in Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University, Irvine where he studied Theology, Philosophy, and Biblical Languages. He is devoted to the historic liturgy and subscribes to the Lutheran Confessions including the Formula of Concord articles V and VI. He is married to Jaclyn and father to Anastasia. Together they enjoy movies, books, theatre, and art.

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