The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” John 4:19–23
Having been convicted of her sin and need for forgiveness, and having repented and agreed with Jesus’ indictment, the Samaritan woman wondered where she should go to meet God and seek His grace and salvation.
Jesus explains that under the new covenant, the place of worship is not the issue, but rather the nature of worship. “An hour is coming,” Jesus informed the woman, “and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. “Spirit” does not refer to the Holy Spirit but the human spirit. Worship must be internal, not external—it must be from the heart. “Truth” calls for this heart worship to be consistent with what Scripture teaches and to be centered on Christ.
True worshipers are those who “worship the Father in spirit and truth.” It is “such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers” by sovereignly drawing them to Himself (6:44, 45). God has called you to worship Him. Make sure your worship is genuine.
What is so empty and uninspiring about worship that fails to engage the heart, worship that is mouthed and measured rather than done like you mean it? Then why do we resort to it so often? Why are we duped into believing that the object of our distraction is more worthy than the rightful recipient of our praise?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610