John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.
Strong’s Hebrew Concordance: to depress, prostrate (especially reflexive, in homage to royalty or God):—bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
Strong’s Greek Concordance: to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, to revere, to adore):—worship.
Adore: To worship with profound reverence; to address with exalted thoughts, by prayer and thanksgiving; to pay divine honors to; to honor as a god or as divine. To love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem, affection and respect; as, the people adore their prince.
There’s so much to love about this passage. This starts as Jesus makes the unconventional statement that He MUST go through Samaria. That was something the Jews didn’t do. Then, as His disciples go to get bread, Jesus sits at a well, and starts a conversation with a Samaritan woman. This in and of itself is notable, as the lady herself knew that the Jews just didn’t talk to “those people”. And yet Jesus crossed cultural and social boundaries for the sake of those in need of Him. He then used a physical illustration to share a spiritual truth (He was great at that). And He began to share with her about the living water that was available only of Himself. As I read this – I praise the Lord for the Living Water of which I was able to drink just over two decades ago! But then the disciples show up, and marvel why Jesus would talk to such a woman (prejudiced, but unwilling to say so). And to make a long story short, there’s a Samaritan revival where a known loose, immoral woman, a bunch of her acquaintances, and many others in the city, are saved. Thank the Lord for His willingness to reach the unreachable and save the undesirable, like me!
But this isn’t the thought that stuck out most. In that great story, Jesus makes a note to the lady about what the Father really wants. He expresses to her what and whom the Father is seeking. And what He is seeking is “such to worship Him.” The word worship is found 108 times in our King James Bible, in 102 verses. And we’re reminded in this passage, as well as these verses, that if we’re to worship Him, it must be in spirit (within – a love, reverence, adoration, respect), and in truth (His truth). He wants our reverence. He wants our adoration. He wants us to express to Him His worth. But He wants it to be a part of who we are, and how we live. I think many times, we live the Christian life doing all that we should, without the true spirit of worship that we ought to have. He doesn’t want affectionless followers.Today, might we love, respect, revere, and adore the Lord as He desires us to.