What is the main focus of the mission of God? Is it to feed and clothe the world? Is it to free the captives of tyrannical political regimes? Sometimes we have a Three Amigos mentality of the mission of God. “Wherever there is injustice, you will find us, wherever there is suffering, we’ll be there, wherever liberty is threatened, you will find the Three Amigos!”
However, as we discovered in yesterday’s text from Genesis, God’s main concern and mission for the world is bringing mankind, the crown of His creation back into sync with Him by making provision for us through His son Jesus Christ to once again worship God and bring others into that worship experience as well. We find in our text today that Jesus intimated this principle as he spoke with a Samaritan woman in John’s Gospel chapter 4.
21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus is correcting the error of the woman’s ancestors, who had accepted a syncretism of foreign deities with the ancestral God of the Jewish faith. True worship is that of the spirit, which means that the worshiper must deal honestly and openly with God.
Jesus is at the same time speaking a word into our world and mission as Christians, which is to first of all be genuine worshipers of God, dealing openly and honestly with God through His son Jesus Christ and then bringing others into that experience. For we too, if we are not careful incorporate syncretism into our lives and thus into the church. If we are not careful, we can unwittingly take on a Three Amigos mentality about the mission of God and make the church about politics or the American way.
It is in fact all about being a worshiper of God in Spirit and in truth and through our worship, bringing others into that relationship. Tomorrow, we will talk more about this idea, but for today, let’s ask ourselves; are we worshiping in Spirit and in truth, dealing openly and honestly with God? If we are, we can expect to fulfill the mission of God, by worshiping and inviting others to become worshipers. The woman at the well did and the Bible tells us that because of her worshipful lifestyle, many believed that Jesus really is the savior of the world. May that be true of our lives as well.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Jn 4:21–24). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.