Worship In Spirit And Truth
19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such 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” (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.” (John 4:19-26, NKJV)
When a person begins to be convicted of their sin, they will often throw up intellectual barriers by asking theological questions. “How did the animals all fit into the ark?” “Where did Cain’s wife come from?” “What about the pigmies in Africa?” Questions like that can often discourage and distract you from the task at hand – leading a person to salvation in Christ. How can you deal with it? Just like Jesus did.
Answer the question quickly and accurately, then direct the focus right back to the Lord. The thing that I always try to remember when sharing the Lord with someone is what Paul told the Corinthians:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
It’s not about having answers to every difficult question. It is about being able to turn the subject right back to Jesus Christ: who He is, what He did, and what He said.
In all fairness, this was a genuine question in her mind. You see, when the Jews rejected the Samaritans, they were not welcome to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. So they constructed their own temple at Mouth Gerizim. The conflict between the Jews and Samaritans widened as the Samaritans rewrote the biblical accounts, replacing the holy Mt. Zion with their own Mt. Gerizim. Since she recognizes that he is a prophet, she asks Him for the real truth.
Worship In Spirit And In Truth
Spiritually, the Samaritans were worshiping. But they weren’t worshipping with true knowledge. The Jews as a whole worshiped with the truth of the Word of God, but they weren’t worshipping in Spirit. Today, we are called not to Mt. Zion or to Mt. Gerizim, but to worship God in Spirit and in truth. Unfortunately, the same division seems to affect God’s people today.
The church seems to be split down the middle with the same division. On one side, we people who adhere to the Word of God, having the true knowledge of it. But more often than not, these folks do not know what it is to worship God in Spirit. On the other side, we have extremists who worship God in Spirit but have no idea about the truth found in the Word of God. No idea how He commands in the Scriptures that He be worshiped.
We are called to worship in the truth of the Word of God, and in the heart and emotion of the Spirit of God. We are to worship in Spirit and truth!