Journal John 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: (Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well) “You worship what you do not know; we (the Jews) worship what we know (for salvation is from the Jews).

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth—for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.

God is spirit and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:22-24


Observation: A significant statement to and about believers…and maybe a stumbling block to those who want to title themselves as “true worshippers…”


Analysis:  Doesn’t worship have a number of facets to it?  It is a noun.  And it is a verb (to engage in worship).  It can be an adverb (worshipper), or an adjective (worshipping).

What about the facets of worship?  I can worship in my heart; I can worship or be worshipful in my job and conduct; I can engage in the function of worship (biblically described functionalities or whatever I am comfortable with).

Is it so far off the mark describing “worship” as anything I am doing or thinking and hanging a sign on it, saying, “this is worship?”  How about those folks taking it one step further and saying “I am a true worshipper” because they self-describe themselves to be?

Did Jesus just poke a hole into that position, describing the Samaritan: “You worship what you do not know…”  Perhaps if I self-declare as a “worshipper” of any class or I accept praise from another, “Boy, you are a great worshipper!!”, did I just prove that I don’t know anything about being anywhere close to a “true worshipper?”

I am just asking questions.  The older I grow, I am challenging my own tub of “biblical truths”, those things I accepted, put on the shelf of my head and heart, and moved on—not lacking in faith, just saying to myself, “Did I get this one right?”

I am sure I can’t go wrong with these three things about worship, worshipping, and being a worshipper:

  1. I must know Jesus.  But not only know Jesus, grow in knowing Him.  If I don’t have more than a casual relationship with Jesus, then something is amiss, and I may be closer to being a Samaritan than I should or want.
  2. I must grow in knowing Jesus.  This one is about growing in the knowledge of God’s self-testimony, the Bible.  If I WANT to know Jesus, then I WANT to know more about his Word.  It really isn’t optional.  Knowing Jesus and to be known by Jesus is a two-way street.  I shouldn’t rest in the fact that Jesus wants to know me, and he pursues me.  I should only care that I pursue HIM and Him alone.  Frankly, I am grateful for his love towards me because I am nobody’s prize, much less God’s prize.
  3. Finally, worship is a holy verb, repeat, a HOLY VERB.  Verbs describe ACTIONS and there are actions in Worship to do. To worship has functions, enthusiasms, displays of energy, mandated (not suggested) gestures, passions, and more.  Some gestures and enthusiasm get a bad rap, but it doesn’t necessarily make them unbiblical, just uncomfortable if instructed in the use of them incorrectly. However, anybody can peer into Psalms, pick out a verse or two about raising hands, or being passionate in expression, or singing with enthusiasm…and do it.

When was the last time dancing was a part of private worship at home?

PS: There is a hierarchy of function to be aware of.  Knowing Jesus, Growing in His Word, and Worship is first and foremost about Knowing Him, and secondarily about the Commission.

Don’t get the two out of order.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me keep it in order but increase me in the cause of the Commission.  I confess I am committed to increasing in knowing You, and am not satisfied about my functioning in the Commission.


Ricky Two Shoes