Friday, September 22, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Universality of the Gospel
St. John 4: 21 - 26
V. 24 "God is spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth".
            Jesus encounter with the Samaritan women 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 Gerizim 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 transcends the worship boundaries. Jesus directs 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. Then we can present the universal gospel.

The transcending power of true worship
                        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 means worship God from the heart and truth means worship God as He directs in 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 worship the homage of heart rather than that of lips. Worship is determined by attitude of our hearts.
            Jesus revealed his identity to her and declared that He is the Messiah and thus fulfills the Samaritan women’s messianic expectations and inaugurated the Good News to the whole world without any boundaries.
Lord help us to worship you in spirit and truth and then to present the universal Gospel.
God is spirit and those who worship him should worship Him in spirit and truth.
John 4:24
Rev. A. B. Binu, Ebenezer MTC, Vikaspuri, New Delhi