#DailyDevotion What Does It Mean To Worship In Spirit And Truth
Read John 4:7–26
Joh 4:19-26 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. (20) Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” (21) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. (23) But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. (24) God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (25) The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” (26) Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Her first clue that Jesus was a prophet should have been his enigmatic speech, but I think that it finally set in when he started talking about her life. She probably thought he was a bit strange after the first two lines. Just a note “living water” means stream, creek, river, i.e. water that moves.
So we come to the part of the passage which everyone who doesn’t want to go to church loves because they think it justifies their separation from the body of Christ: , “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” Of course Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t gather or we don’t have to gather with other believers. What happens at Jerusalem and on the mountain of the Samaritans? The Old Testament sacrifices. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death and his justifying resurrection, worship on those mountains becomes superfluous. It is no longer needed.
So what is this worshipping the Father in spirit and in truth bit? If you look at John 3:16 and Eph. 5:26 the Spirit and the Word are synonymous or rather perhaps interchangeable. When you have one you have the other and vice versa. Jesus is also the Truth. So we will be worshipping the Father in the spirit when we worship Him with the Word of God, i.e. Jesus. When we come together or in private in the name of Jesus we’re worshipping in the spirit. Trusting in Christ Jesus for salvation is the means by which we worship and are pleasing to God the Father.
Finally Jesus doesn’t something here he doesn’t do elsewhere with the Jews who follow him. He tells her plainly that he is the Christ, the Messiah of God. It is interesting to note that the Samaritans who only have the Torah and one which is modified to fit their beliefs about the place of worship still are looking forward to a Messiah which can only mean Jesus is all over the Torah, the first five books of the bible. Well having found the messiah just puts the icing on the cake for this woman who simply wanted to get some water for cooking dinner tonight.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant us such faith in you that we worship the Father in spirit and truth and open our mouths to share this good news with those who will listen. Amen.