Summary: Another in the purpose driven series: Worship @ the center.
John 4: 1-26.
The act of Worship can take many forms from the numerous religions aound the world - Satan worship, pagan and new age worship of nature - the secular worshippers of money, power, sport, fashion and show biz and the many world religions. As we look around the globe we see that human beings only intrinsically worship!
J. Horton, The General evidence is that human beings only give divine worship.
The Bible tells us many people worship in ignorance: Rom1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the creator who is forever praised. Amen
So what is true worship?
John.4:24 God is Spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.But before we look at what this means lets look at what its not!
Story lead up to passage in context
Jesus has already uncovered this womans immoral lifestyle v18 at this point she acknowledges Jesus as a prophet and switches the subject in the form of a question towards Jesus.
1. True worship is not about tradition and location. V19-20.
She has put out a smoke screen from her genuine deeper thoughts?
v20 Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship is Jerusalem.
The implication is that she is totally ignorant, confused about true worship?
V22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know: we worship what we do know, for salvation is of the Jews
Jesus reveals to her? That true worship is of the Jews and salvation will begin through the Jews and then to all.
At this point background between Samaritans(Pentateuch) and the Jews(OT)
1Kings 12:26 ¡V32.Intermarried
and inter faiths. 2 Kings.17:27 -33
The woman’s religion is void of true worship
It was solely based on the tradition of her fathers and the location mount Gerizim.
The Samaritans had set up a rival worship centre to the temple in Jerusalem. To the people it looked like they were doing the right thing following tradition and going to the right places but it was void of God!
You can be a memeber of a fan club but there is nothing like going to the real thing at the concert, they had a fan club but it was void of the concert. God wasn’t there!
The extent of their religion is based upon their particular tradition or Church attendance:eg location.
They fail to grasp the heart of worship. Many religious people are worshipping what they do not know?
Created religion void of true worship. The Moslem who worships Allah turning towards Mecca 5 times a day repeating the same prayer. At some time in his life he has to visit Mecca where he walks round the Kabba 7 times and kisses the sacred black stone. It has all the outward form the location (Mecca) the objects (sacred stone) the expectations, but it will have none of the inward reality of a true believer.
Isn’t it true today people are confused and even ignorant they think Christianity is just another Religion like Islam with all its outward form.
At a Danish Protestant Church, the congreagtion always turned and bowed before a white blank wall. Why? Custom for the local Church goers: After a restoration of interior wall; A pre reformation mural of the Virgin Mary was found. A Catholic custom of bowing to the Virgin had survived 300 years even after the reformation.
V 21 Jesus declared believe me women a time is coming when you will worship neither the Father neither on this mountain nor Jerusalem.
2. True worship is an inward reality not an outward form. v23
Once a little boy comes home from Church kneels by his bed and prayed, "We had a good time at Church today, but I wish you had been there God!"
Jesus reveals to us that inner spiritual reality has replaced geographical location for God’s worshippers neither worship upon the mountain or in the temple in Jerusalem neither are significant any longer.
For the kingdom of God has come and will be fully brought in by his death resurrection and ascension and the establishment of the NT Church.
In the new dispensation, he reveals the externals are unimportant whether you are Jew, Samaritan, or Gentile whether you worship in this place or the other it’s unimportant what matters is the internal heart transformation.
A. Heart worship: Psl.9:1, 138:1. I will praise you with all my heart psl. 111:1. I will extol the Lord with all my heart 119:10 I seek you with all my heart.
The word spirit here is not referring to the Holy Spirit, albeit He indeed is pivotal and we cannot worship God without Him. Phil.3.3. We worship God in the Spirit of God and put no confidence in the flesh.