‘It’s not where we worship, but how we worship that counts’
I read Chapters 4 & 5 from the Book of John today.
In Chapter 4, there is the infamous woman at the well story, Jesus talks of the spiritual harvest, many Samaritans believe in Jesus because of the woman at the well, Jesus preaches in Galilee and Jesus heals a government official’s son. In Chapter 5, Jesus heals a lame man by the pool and Jesus states he is the Son of God, providing supporting information and facts for this claim.
I would imagine, that the lame guy was very happy about being healed after 38 years and when Jesus told him to “Stand up, roll up your sleeping mat and go on home!” (John 5:8), he did! Unbelievable, that the Jewish leaders would be more interested in the fact that the guy was healed on a Sabbath, like that was even relevant. And in the Living Bible translation, this is what the leaders actually say to the healed man:
“You can’t work on the Sabbath! It’s illegal to carry that sleeping bag!” (John 5:10)
Wow, I am refraining from speaking my mind about these leaders, but boy they are annoying! And then they have the audacity to harass Jesus for being a Sabbath breaker and after this healing, were even more eager to kill Jesus, not only for disobeying their made up man-made Sabbath laws, but because he claimed to be the Son of God. Boy, it’s scary when our Church leaders are so blind and full of their own self importance!
Moving on! The message that really stuck out for me today is found in the conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well. The woman asked questions about the place of worship for Jews and Samaritans. Jesus responded by saying that it’s not where we worship that is important but how we worship:
‘Jesus replied, “The time is coming, ma’am, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the Father here or in Jerusalem. For it’s not where we worship that counts, but how we worship—is our worship spiritual and real? Do we have the Holy Spirit’s help? For God is Spirit, and we must have his help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship from us..’ (John 4:21-24)
We know that the Holy Spirit helps us worship by praying for us:
‘And in the same way—by our faith—the Holy Spirit helps us with our daily problems and in our praying. For we don’t even know what we should pray for nor how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit prays for us with such feeling that it cannot be expressed in words.’ (Romans 8:26)
We also know that the Holy Spirit helps us worship by teaching us the works of Christ:
‘But when the Father sends the Comforterinstead of me—and by the Comforter I mean the Holy Spirit—he will teach you much, as well as remind you of everything I myself have told you.’ (John 14:26)
And we know that the Holy Spirit helps us worship by helping us feel loved:
‘Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.’ (Romans 5:5)
Let’s worship in Spirit and Truth the one true and living God – Our Lord Jesus Christ!