Summary: What does Jesus have to say about true worship?
As I read Christian magazines one of the most divisive issues in the church today is that of worship style. Many churches are working through the issues of contemporary verses traditional music styles.
There have been churches that have split of the issue of music.
I have heard people tell me that they could not worship with certain styles of music. Some people would have trouble worshipping without certain types of clothing.
When we visited Willow Creek, I was one of maybe 3 people with a suit on. One of the workers at Willow Creek said I must be a preacher. The attire of the church did not bother me, I felt somewhat uncomfortable in my suit that day. Some people would take issue with the casual dress of Willow Creek.
What is worship all about? Is worship the music we listen to. Is it the clothing we wear? Is it the translation of the Bible that we use? Is it the building we are in?
In our society today, for the most part we do not really get it when it comes to worship.
To many people, worship is about themselves and what makes them comfortable. I say this because of what people say about worship. If they are having a problem with worship, they will say it is the music, or the way other people are dressed or they will say that the building does not have enough stained glass.
Is true worship about us and what we want or should worship be something more than that?
In our text today, Jesus is still having His conversation with the woman at the well. Jesus has offered her living water and she has asked for it.
Jesus took her to the place where she knew that she needed it by talking to her about her life. In verse 19 the woman looks at Jesus and says that she perceives that He is a prophet. Then she asks Him a question about worship and where it is to take place.
Many people think that the woman is trying to change the subject, but I think she is truly seeking an answer to a question she has. I ma not sure that Jesus would let her off the hook if that is what she was trying to do. Also Jesus gives her a pretty complete answer to her question.
Today we are going to see what Jesus has to say about worship. As we look at the text today, you will notice that Jesus gives us a contrast between TRUE worship that God desires and false worship that God will not accept.
It is my prayer for you today that you see that worship is not about us, but it is all about Jesus.
I. WHERE CAN WE HAVE TRUE WORSHIP? 20-21
1. The question.
Jesus, I know that you are a prophet, I would like for you to clear up a matter for me. READ VERSE 20.
The woman wanted Jesus to justify the place and the way that the Samaritans were worshiping.
The Old Testament indicated that the temple in Jerusalem was the place of worship after the temple was built. During the time of Alexander the Great, the Samaritans built their own temple on Mount Gerizim. They did this because their tradition said that Mount Gerizim was the place that Adam was formed and that it was the place he built his first alter. They also had many other traditions they had to try to make the place have some importance.
In the Old Testament, the place of worship was very important along with the way a person was to worship.
God gave very little freedom when it came to worship under the Old Covenant. God told the people how to make the tabernacle, what to make it out of and how to handle it. God told the priests what they would wear and who would be the priests.
In the Old Testament, the focus of the worship was on the elements of worship as well as where it happened.
2. Jesus answer
Let’s look at verse 21 for how Jesus answers this question. READ VERSE 21
In this verse Jesus is over turning the central feature in the Old Testament Law, the temple, the center of worship,
As I said earlier, the Old Testament had a worship that was focused on the outward things. God never intended for worship to be a ceremony, but with all the external things that came with Old Testament worship, God knew that would happen.
Jesus said the following in Matthew 22:37-40 when asked which was the greatest command of the Law, And He said to him, "’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ "This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."