Universality of the Gospel
God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth (V. 24)
Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the Jacob’s well is a unique event in the Gospel of John. This is the story of transformation of a woman and her community. Here Jesus answers her question about worship. During that time the Jews and the Samaritans were in a “worship war” in which Samaritans believed that they should worship on Mount Gerazim and Jews understood that it should be in Jerusalem.
Jesus Breaks the Boundaries:-
Universality starts with breaking boundaries. In this text Jesus openly challenges two boundaries: the boundary between “chosen people” and “rejected people” and between male and female. Through the answer to her question regarding worship Jesus also transcended the worship boundaries. Jesus directed her attention away from the present to the future and said that the time was coming for a different kind of worship where place would not be important. The True worship is no longer defined by place but as worship “in spirit and truth”. Today the church is asked to cross boundaries as Jesus does instead of constructing them. Only then we can present the universal gospel.
The transcending power of true worship:-
In this passage, Jesus makes it clear that there are certain qualifications for true worshippers, the true worshippers must worship the Father, which means the object of worship is God the Father and it should be in spirit and in truth. Spirit suggests worshipping God from the heart and truth means worshipping God as He directs through His word which is the real truth. Thus worship reflects and is shaped by the character of God. This is the transcending power of worship. Jesus said that the Father is seeking worshippers who will worship Him (v.23). In True worship is the homage of hearts rather than that of lips. Worship is determined by attitude of our hearts.
Jesus revealed his identity to the Samaritan woman and declared that He is the Messiah and thus fulfilled the Samaritan woman’s messianic expectations and inaugurated the Good News to the whole world without any boundaries.
Prayer: Lord help us to worship you in spirit and truth and then to present the universal Gospel. Amen
Thought for the Day: Worship God in truth and spirit
Rev. A. B. Binu Long Island Mar Thoma Church.