Daily Word

Wherever we wander, worship | John 4:19-26

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here …?”

21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

John 4:19-26 (NLT)

Wherever we wander, worship

The conversation continues and the woman now asks where to worship. To me it seems like a red herring to distract the topic. Remember for them worship was in a special place by special people, even at special times. Jesus answers that a time is coming when these won’t matter. I think Jesus is pointing to the Spirit coming to live in believers thereby changing these aspects of worship.

Who to worship?

The Samaritans worshipped a “version” of god that merged Yahweh with other gods. We need to worship the right God, the Messiah, the “I AM” of v26. Jesus referred to Himself at least 5 times (John 8:24, 28, 58, 9:37, 13:19) as “I AM”, a clear reference back to The Lord calling Himself I AM (Exodus 3:14). The NLT helps us see the meaning is, “salvation comes through the Jews”; through Jesus! In Romans 9:5 Paul restates that the Messiah is from the Jews.

How to worship?

And how do we worship? In spirit and truth. If we worship in the flesh, by our own abilities, it won’t work. If you try to ride a bike to the moon it ain’t gonna happen. Since God is Spirit, we need to worship according to His nature. Thankfully, He has given us of His nature, His Spirit abides in us. To worship in truth is to “come to God in truth, not in pretense or a mere display of spirituality.” (enduringword.com)

<- Reflection ->
  • Review your last time of worship. Was it in your own strength, by your flesh?
  • What can you do to worship in spirit and truth?
Wandering worship. Image from Pxfuel.com

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