“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” John 4:21-23
Often I hear worship spoken of in the context of what people do on a Sunday morning, and that is understandable, because it is at that time that Christians come together to worship the Lord together. However, true worship is far more than what we do on a Sunday morning between the hours of 9 and 1. Jesus said, “Believe Me” and that is always the best place to start, because the alternative is to lean on our own understanding and depend upon our own natural inclination, which so often leads us astray.
Jesus went on to say that an hour would come when worship would take on an entirely different dimension than previously understood – at least for some. Jesus said this when He told the woman, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. He was not telling her that worship could not take place in Samaria or Jerusalem but that worship was not about a time or a place but a condition of the person worshipping. What is your condition as you read this blog? Are you a worshipper as the Father demands, and what does that mean to you?
Jesus made it clear to her from the outset of their conversation that salvation is of the Jews. The Jews were given everything they needed to know about true worship from all the Old Testament writings. They were told about sin for over 1200 years, as the prophets brought railing judgments against all those that rebelled against God, and in the light of His revealed will through Moses and the scriptures.
Salvation is of the Jews because in the Scriptures the Messiah was revealed, the One that would save His people from their sins. Jesus made it clear to this woman that there is such a thing as a true worshipper, which by implication means their are false worshippers. No, the world of religions does not worship the same God. Allah and Jesus are not the same God, and Jesus and Joseph Smith do not tell the same message. There is only one religion that demands and guarantees the sacrifice of God’s Son for the sins of man and that is Christianity, which is the fulfillment of the true Mosaic law. All men need to take very seriously that the Bible refers to false prophets, because they lead the people astray, which means they lead the people to eternal punishment.
Jesus made it perfectly clear that “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” The true worshipper is the one, as Jesus said in John 3 when speaking to a religious leader, was born again. The true worshipper is born of the Spirit, not by his own will (John 1:13) but by the will of the Father who seeks to make true worshippers. It is always essential that we understand that God is central to all things. God created all things and He saves, HE saves all men that are saved. When God saves a person He transforms them from sinner to saint and turns them into someone that can worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Therefore, from the time a person is saved and onward his or her time should be spent finding out what it is that God demands from him or her from His holy Word. We do not study to be smart or to think we are doing a good thing, but to please our Lord. All of life is about worship. Worship is that state of soul that bows low before the God of all creation and acknowledge that His ways are right and just and that He is the creator of all that is right and just. God conforms to nobody and nothing, there is nothing external to God to which He conforms – He is the source.
True worship is a state of the soul that recognizes God for who and what He is. True worship of soul leaves a man discontented if Sunday morning worship is done poorly. He will want to worship according to the truth and not his own personal biases and inclinations that he has developed over time through an overactive sense of loyalty and devotion to a man, teacher, preacher, or pastor. Loyalty is a great and necessary virtue but overactive means it focuses upon men, hence the fear of man becomes a snare, but a proper fear of God demands true worship.
Sunday morning worship should not be about entertainment with the right genre of songs, a short enough message, which dazzles us with good sounding words and a level of education that keeps us interested. Community worship is about praying to God in the Spirit, the reading of Scripture out of a heart that wants to hear even what is not convenient, and the preaching of God’s word that is not out of a desire for accolades but to see God glorified in the person of His Son.
The Gospel always brings the sinner and saint to his knees from a heart of humility that does not understand but appreciates the love of God that would send His beloved Son to suffer and die a death that is incomprehensible to finite men. It is the truth about the sufferings of Christ that must be the central theme of every theme of every worship service. If you think I am mistaken then you do not understand the meaning of true worship.
“The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” John 4:25, 26
The word “He” is not present in the original Greek, so the quote reads, “I who speak to you am.” Jesus could not have spoken more plainly than if He said, the One who stood before Moses at the burning bush and announced His name as I AM that I AM, that is Me. Jesus was central in His conversations to every person to whom He spoke in the Gospels, and He is central to all of us today. He should be central in all of our worship and especially our worship services, and certainly not our own felt needs.