ODJ: A Sacred Place

February 28, 2018 

READ: John 4:20-24 

God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple (1 Cor. 3:17).

Every religion has its places of worship—places that are considered sacred. In the Old Testament, we read of three festivals for worshipping God at the temple in Jerusalem each year (Deuteronomy 16:16).

With that in mind, Jesus was once drawn into a discussion with a Samaritan woman on the necessity of worshipping in a designated sacred place (John 4:20-24). She said, “Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim” (v.20).

Jesus redirected her—and us—from a place of worship to the Person and paradigm of worship. Christianity as religion is about people seeking to worship a deity, requiring a sacred place of worship. Christianity as relationship, however, is God seeking people who worship Him as Father. “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way” (v.23).

Worshipping in “spirit and in truth” means we approach God truthfully and wholeheartedly on the basis of His Word and through His Son (John 14:6; 1 John 5:20). A sacred physical site is no longer an imperative. While God loves all His creation and is present within it, the focus is not the sacredness of a place of worship but the holiness of His worshippers. As Paul declared, believers in Jesus are “the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16) and “God’s temple is holy” (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Worship for believers is more than a few hours spent in a sacred place. The Holy Spirit now dwells within us. True worship is living a godly life in God’s presence (1 Peter 1:15).

—K.T. Sim

365-day plan: Joshua 2:1-24

Read Romans 12:1-2 to see how we can worship God the Father in spirit and in truth. 
How does it affect you to remember that through the Spirit, you are His temple? How can you worship God in all of life?