Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Jerusalem at the time of its feasts—the perfect place and time for worship. In John 4:22, Jesus affirmed that the Jews had the right place for worship and knowledge about how God is to be worshiped. In John 5, our text for this Sunday, we discover that despite being the perfect place and time for worship, it had become a picture of everything that could be wrong with religion.
Christians often argue over whether this or that form of worship is correct. As important as some of those discussions are (Jesus did acknowledge that it mattered), having the proper form of worship can never be a substitute of having the proper effect of worship. As Jesus and the prophets teach us, no matter how “right” their sacrifices were, their temple, their rituals, God despised their worship and said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” In other words, function over form, and that function is being conduits of God’s mercy.
Maybe you have asked, “Is this it? Singing, learning, confessing sin… is this the goal?” Join us as we return to John’s Gospel and continue the series we left off in the spring. Let’s explore what Jesus does and says that will guide us so that we don’t become those who have the proper form of religion but none of the intended impact.