Archive for April 9th, 2018

John 4:19-23

John 4:19-23 has Jesus interacting with the Samaritan woman at the well.  He has just asked her about her many husbands, and she was surprised the He could know those details.  So she decides to try and divert the focus on her past.  “Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right”?  She doesn’t necessarily confess to being a sinner – she wants to change the conversation to religious jargon.  Move the focus off of self onto the potential conflict about where worship can happen.

Jesus addresses here question head on.  “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day”. The Samaritans believed that Moses commissioned an altar on Mount Gerazim, the mountain of blessing – this was their justification of the system of worship they followed.  But Jesus makes it clear that worshipped what they did not know; while the Jews knew exactly what they worshipped – the true God and Messiah.  Jesus was turning the light on what true worship was all about.

Jesus pointed her to a time when worship would no longer be focused on places (neither Jerusalem nor Mount Gerazim). The ministry of Jesus would bring a greater, more spiritual worship, focused on the Messiah. “God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter”. Dods said, “One of the greatest announcements ever made by our Lord; and made to one sinful woman.”  Jesus was a truth teller, not worried about the audience but always speaking the truth of God to all who He spoke to.

Jesus described the basis for true worship: it is not found in places and things, but in spirit and in truth. He’s crystal clear that our spiritual well being is about who we are (our heart condition) and how we live (our obedience).  “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth”.  Worship is not about the place or way we worship – it’s about how we connect with God.

  • To worship in spirit means you are concerned with spiritual realities
  • To worship in truth means you worship according to the whole counsel of God’s word

This is the definition of true worship according to Jesus.  We have to engage in spirit and in truth!

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