Location, Location, Location – John 4:1-26

Jesus told her, ‘Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth'” (John 4:21-24, CSB).

Mount Gerizim was the Old Testament location where God was to pronounce blessing on the Jewish people upon entering the promised land: “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal…. When you possess it and settle in it, be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances I set before you today” (Deuteronomy 11:29, CSB). This ceremony was solemnly performed after the Israelites began to take possession of the promised land (see Joshua 8:30-35).

During Jesus’ time Samaritanism was alienated from Judaism. This alienation had evolved over many centuries starting with the division of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms and the bad influence of evil kings in the northern kingdom. The conquest of Israel (northern kingdom) by Assyria and the resulting importation of foreign colonists greatly modified the Jewish religion in that region.

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Casting Crowns – Revelation 4:9-11

Casting Crowns“The twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:9-11, ESV).

The twenty-four elders may represent the orders of priests serving in the Old Testament temple or they may symbolize the unity of God’s people as encompassing the twelve tribes of Old Testament Israel and the twelve apostles of the New Testament church–like the new Jerusalem’s twelve gates and twelve foundations in Revelation 21. Their thrones resemble those of God’s heavenly court in Daniel 7.

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What’s In a Name? – Isaiah 56:5-6

rose“I will give them, in My house and within My walls, a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give each of them an everlasting name that will never be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord minister to Him, love the name of ‘Yahweh’ and become His servants” (Isaiah 56:5-6, HCSB).

The Shakespearian character, Juliet asked Romeo: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet’s question means that what really matters is not what someone is called but what someone is.

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