July 5 I Friday
“‘Woman,’ Jesus replied, ‘believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’” —John 4:21
The Samaritan woman believed in God and was accustomed to tradition, but had no experience of God until she spoke with Jesus. When He revealed to her the fact that she had been married five times and was presently living with a man she was not married to, she grew defensive and changed the subject, saying, “Sir, I can see that You are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but You Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem” (John 4:19-20).
Mount Gerizim was in Samaria, where her people had been worshipping for centuries. She may have climbed it every Saturday morning as tradition dictated, but Jesus was now telling her that her people did not even know who they were worshipping! Until then, she probably thought she had been doing and saying all the right things, like many of us who attend church regularly. For some people, worship is a physical process where they have to be in the right building, kneeling or standing at the right place and dressed appropriately. For others, worship is emotional and they have to light incense or a candle with the right music to set the right ambience. After sometime time, they become utterly bored with the whole process and it simply becomes a ritual.
In the Samaritan woman’s eyes, worship was more about geography, but Jesus said to her, “Believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in Truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks
(John 4:21, 23). There is a marked difference between the Old and New Testaments in the worship of God. In the Old Testament, worship was centered around a place, a time and rituals that had to be observed. The focus was placed on the externals, but in the New Testament, worship is focused upon the internals—the heart and life of the worshipper.
Worship is a response to our knowledge of God. It must come from within, where something in us resonates with a God who is loving, active and real. To worship in Spirit and truth is a disposition towards God. To worship in Spirit comes from the inner core of our being, directed by the Holy Spirit’s activity within us. To worship in truth is a response to a true knowledge and understanding we have of God. Worship of God can take place anytime and anywhere because it does not need buildings, rituals, forms or liturgy, only the depths of our hearts.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that my worship of You is not bound to any buildings, rituals or forms but through Your Spirit and Truth. Praise You, Lord.