2.3 Only Acceptable Worship
"The only acceptable worship of God during the time of MMLJ -- before the cross -- was under the Law of Moses and in the Jerusalem temple."
- No angels or mere prophets were allowed to be worshiped under the OT system of worship. But, Jesus, being more than a prophet, allowed people to worship Him. (Matthew 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 18:26; 20:20). This was a new situation. God had come in human flesh. Notice that Jesus was not worshipped just at Jerusalem. It was everywhere He went, that people worshipped Him. While this was new and not part of the OT law, neither was it inconsistent or contradictory to it. It was part of what fulfilled the law.
- But, the above position holds that under the OT system God could only be worshipped at the Jerusalem temple. Yet, Jesus was worshipped repeatedly in Galilee. In John 4: 23, Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” Notice that what “now is” was to also join with the “hour that is coming.” Again, we are seeing that the pre-cross ministry of Jesus was to join with the hour that was coming. Instead of viewing Jesus’ ministry as a mere attachment to the OT system, John views the pre-cross “now is” circumstance as something that joins with “the hour that is coming.” When a person was honoring and worshiping Jesus before the cross, they were worshiping the Father (John 5:23). The pre-cross honor of Christ would join with the post-cross honor of Christ. True worshipers were already honoring the Father by honoring He Whom the Father sent. The hour had arrived for the people of Samaria to join in the honor of the Father by honoring the Son. The hour was coming and “now is” that Jerusalem would not be the only place to worship the Father. By honoring Jesus wherever He was, they were participating in that which would belong to “the hour that is coming” (the NT age).