Tuesday: Worshiping What You Know Not

As we have seen numerous times, even with all the intricate and deep forms of worship that the Lord had instituted for Israel, it was not the forms alone that the Lord cared about. The forms and traditions and liturgy were all means to an end, and that end was a person surrendered in body and mind to his or her Creator and Redeemer. It is much easier, however, to make one’s religion a series of formulas, traditions, and outward acts than it is to daily die to self and surrender in humility and faith to the Lord. This fact surely goes a long way in explaining why the Bible spends a lot of time dealing with those whose hearts aren’t right with God, regardless of how “correct” their forms of worship are.

This, too, was a problem that Jesus dealt with when here in the flesh.

Read John 4:1–24. What important point about worship was Jesus making to the Samaritan woman in verse 21? Why was He pointing her away from specific places of worship?

In pointing out some of her deepest secrets, Jesus got the woman’s attention. He then used that moment to point her to something better than what she had. Jesus uses the powerful phrase “Woman, believe me” in order to show her that true worship went far beyond the outward forms and places of worship. “This mountain” was Mt. Gerizim, where the Samaritans had built a temple. Of course, that would be what one would expect a Jew to say to a Samaritan.

But Jesus did not stop there. He included even Jerusalem, the site of the sacred temple that He, Himself, had picked. Thus, early on in His earthly ministry, Jesus was in a very broad way pointing to what He later came right out and said in reference to the temple, “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2). In all this, Jesus was working to give the woman the “living water” (John 4:10), which is Himself. He wanted her to see that a personal relationship with her Creator and Redeemer was the foundation of worship, and certainly not the forms and traditions of her faith, which had deviated from the true religion of the Jews. His reference to Jerusalem (John 4:21), however, proved that He was pointing to something even beyond the system of sacrifice and worship that He Himself had created.

In what ways can all the aspects of your worship experience help you deepen your relationship with God?

**Posted with permission from the School/Personal Ministries Department. View current and past issues here. Pictures may be added for effect**



Tuesday: Worshiping What You Know Not — 2 Comments

  1. Jason, thank you for your article that reinforces what the Sabbath School lesson had to say.

    It wasn’t just the woman at the well that Jesus was trying to refocus by His comments. There are other times and circumstances He did the same with His disciples although I don’t really believe His statement about the temple was one of them. As a church we tend to understand that statement as a historical one rather than dealing with theology.

    Here is a few of those other refocusing statements:

    “Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, ‘Who do men say that I am?’ So they answered, ‘John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered and said to Him, ‘You are the Christ’" (Mark 8:27-29 NKJV).
    Knowing Peter’s often quick knee jerk response, I rather doubt that Peter really understood the significance of what he said. To me the interesting thing is how Jesus drew His disciples to that statement.

    “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live’” (John 11:25 NKJV). The context of this text is interesting. At this juncture in Christ’s ministry as late as it was; I don’t think any of His disciples really understood exactly who Jesus was. To them He was their friend and God’s anointed one (Messiah) and the one who was to sit on David’s throne. I don’t see them understanding that their friend actually was God Himself. That is a concept Jesus was trying to put across to them in verse 25.

    "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39 NKJV). So the whole Old Testament points to Jesus! And what can we say about the road to Emmaus.

  2. Our salvation is too much near,all who are journing home must totally self surrender & look to Jesus at all times.Thats the worship needed now .Our time is too short to waste(Rom13:12,13)


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