The Centre of True Worship
The Samaritan woman was highly articulate and spiritually aware. Despite her personal circumstances, she wanted to understand how to worship the Lord. She was confused by the different religious interpretations of the Samaritans and the Jews. However, she identified that Jesus was somebody who could help her. She started by asking where God wanted people to worship Him. Jesus responded that the location was neither Mount Gerizim nor Mount Zion. God was planning that true worship would come directly from the hearts of those who love Him.
How we worship is infinitely more important than the place of worship. Religious ritual in the Old Testament all pointed forward to Christ. The New Testament story is that the centre of all true worship is Jesus Christ Himself; and that to know Him is to know God: as Philippians 2:9-11 says "… God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We cannot worship God without acknowledging that Christ is Lord of all. It is through Christ that we come to the Father and only by the help of the Holy Spirit can we be born again (John 3:5-8). If our worship does not come from a heart that is released from sin by the blood of Christ, our activity is merely religious liturgy. But if we know Christ, we have an open invitation to worship the Father in spirit and in truth, anywhere. The intimacy which God permits for each of His children to come to Him is a remarkable privilege. To speak to the creator of the universe is an astonishing honour, and to know that He loves us personally is infinitely satisfying. So when you are talking about Jesus with your friends, be sure that they understand that they are not just invited to do religious things in a different way: God wants them to know Him through Jesus Christ, and worship Him freely from the heart, free from sin and shame.
© Dr Paul Adams