Summary: Is your testimony dry and dusty? Is your worship forced or restrained? Have we come to God as honest sinners in need of living water?

Worship in Spirit and in Truth

John 4:19-26

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”


Worship finds its Hebrew root in the word worthy. Worthy means that the value is measurable.

In this case it is the value we place on God’s love as it is directed to us. That love is inestimable. It is a worth that EXCEEDS OUR ABILITY TO COMPREHEND.

It is that kind of worth or worship that we are to bring into our praise of our Heavenly Father every time we approach Him.

Whether it be at home as we sing a Christian song or hymn while we work or when we are together like today in God’s sanctuary.

We are to be overflowing like Niagara Falls as praise pours out of us in a seemingly endless stream of worship.

We remember people in the Bible who celebrated before God with all kinds of worship. When King David danced before the Ark of the Covenant as it was led into the city. 2 Samuel Chapter 6 Worship should give us cause to dance before the Lord.

In Exodus 12:31 the Hebrews bowed down and worshiped God for sparing them from the Angel of Death that swept over Egypt and made it possible for them to be free after 400 years of bondage. Worship should give us a Holy and reverent fear of God’s Almighty power to free us.

The people of Israel stood for a quarter of the day as Nehemiah read from the sacred scriptures as they celebrated the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. They stood for another quarter of the day confessing their sins and stood for another quarter of a day as they worshiped God. Nehemiah Chapter 8 Worship should get us to our feet as we rejoice at the word of God and to our knees as we confess our sins to God in the light of His holiness and then back to our feet again as we praise God for His grace held out to us by His great sacrificial love for us.

Too many of us fail to comprehend what worship is meant to be. We too often forget these wonderful Biblical examples of worship.

Many of us get it wrong because we are religious instead of spiritual.

Jesus sets us straight about this empty kind of worship this religious obligatory muted worship that so many Christians offer to our Heavenly Father today. Jesus explained it for us as He had a conversation with a woman at a well.

Turn with me to John 4:19-26

In this passage we see Jesus tired from His journey and wanting to be refreshed with a drink of water.

Jesus is in a part of the country that other Jews consider a place for 2nd class citizens. Jesus is in Samaria. The Samaritans are descendants of Jacob yet the Jews shun them because they had married into other races in 721 B.C. when they were taken captive by the Assyrian Empire.

The Samaritans hold that they have the true religion of Abraham and that the Jews of Jerusalem practice a different Judaism.

Ever since that time there has been both racial and religious conflict between these two Jewish branches of Abraham. It was to this kind of racial and religious tension that Jesus walked into when He purposely went to Samaria that day.

On top of all that the first person Jesus spoke to was a woman and a loose woman at that. Dr. J. Vernon McGee tells us that in this passage Jesus “talks with her (Samaritan woman) very skillfully and sympathetically, but He also talks with her forcefully, faithfully, and factually. He doesn’t give her a lecture on integration or civil rights. He isn’t a candidate for some office. He just appeals to her womanly curiosity. He creates an interest and a thirst.” J. Vernon McGee – Thru the Bible Commentary Volume #4 John Chapter 4 page 389.

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