Religious arguments are funny. Well, funny sad. We bring our wanting to be superior even into the spiritual realm. Sad! Our lady at the well has been found out by a complete stranger in her eyes so she does what every good religious person would do, argue about church. Our church is better than your church. Really?
As the head of the actual Church, Jesus gets a black eye every time this happens. After all, what are but sinners saved by grace. How dare we believe that in some way we have assisted God in helping us. There is nothing wrong with appreciation of your church, pastor, and fellowship. The problem comes in when you try and make it superior to your neighbor.
"Ye worship ye know not what:" Wow! What an indictment. Don't look down your nose at her. Half the time we worship and believe it is going in one direction when in reality we are worshiping something else. Jesus is simply trying to "sharpen iron with iron". Remember, this brings pain. However, it also brings healing and submission. "God is a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". Could it be any clearer? Where do we fit in?
Do we have any clue of just how Holy God is? If we did, we would realize just how far we are from helping Him; or worshiping Him correctly for that matter. She was cornered after His two comments here. Her soul now would be bared to the Messiah. She may not even realize it to this point, but He may be the first man in her life that will actually help her without expectations. When cornered, our true heart will be revealed as hers was. With all she could muster, I see her look at Jesus with tears welling up in her eyes. "I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things." She finally fell back on her learning of the scriptures. She finally fell back on what she was taught along the way. The finally fell back into the arms of Jesus.
Here is the real kicker. I picture a loving God lean over to a broken woman and lay His hand on her should and say, "I that speak unto thee am he". In King James language Bibles, if the word is italicized, it was put in the text without a Hebrew or Greek counterpart. In other words, it was added to make the English sound better. Unfortunately here, it takes away from what was truly taking place. He is telling her He is "I am". Yes, that one. Remember the voice from the burning bush? Moses asked, "Who shall I say is calling?" The Lord replied, "I am". The same words are used here. She was being specific and so was He. She was finally broken. She finally had confronted her own truth and in the process found freedom. How do you know? Simple, look at what she does. In John 4:39, "many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified..." See the importance of testifying? See the importance of being broken and finally submitting to the Truth?
As we close on this subject, remember that you do not need to know how they got into the position they are in. If they choose to tell you, don't abuse it. Simply pray for them. Learn that Jesus approaches everyone differently. Aren't you glad?