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Spirit and Truth

June 10, 2005

Let me start at an unlikely place. John chapter 4. You all know the story with Jesus and the Samaritan woman. During their conversation many people try to say that she is avoiding his question about her husband, but I think that she is asking a question she now realizes someone can answer.

She asks about where to worship. Do we worship in Jerusalem or on the mountain? I grew up being taught that “we must worship in spirit and truth” and that meant we must worship correctly as God has commanded (that equals truth) and sincerely (that equals spirit). Contextually that is all wrong.

The immediate question asked of Jesus is where do we worship? How do we correctly worship might be another way of putting it. Jesus reveals two things to her. First is that he is the Messiah that she speaks of and that a time is coming, in fact ITS HERE when real authentic worshipers will worship ME. In John almost always truth = Jesus. He is the truth and true worshipers will worship him as God! Secondly, He tells here place doesn�t matter. He said God is Spirit (not limited to either the Temple or to the Mountain).

So True worshipers worship Jesus as Lord as God in the flesh (if you don’t recognize that your worship is not what God wants) and they will from that time on worship where ever they are.

Acts 17 tells us that God places people in particular places and particular times so that they might come to know him, because he is not far from any of us. That means he is everywhere.

So what does that have to do with the Tabernacle/ Temple or to buildings today? It lays a ground work that I agree with much of what you have said. We can and do worship Jesus where ever we are, building or no building.

A little architectural history on the Tabernacle. It is a mobile home. A tent. But in plan it is similar to many religious temples. In lay terms it is a room within a room with a porch. But read the detailed description. It is extremely detailed. Each and every element is symbolic. Many metaphors exist. I am not sure we can get them all. But today I will just start with a few obvious ones.

To approach the Tabernacle is to approach God. The Tabernacle faced east and had only one way in. “The Gate” it was called. Jesus said “I am ‘The Gate'”. To approach God you must now come through him.

I will come back to the items in the yard. But before going closer you encountered the basin and the Alter.

But the other real easy one to see is the lamp inside the first room. This lamp was called “The light of the world”. Yes, you guessed it. Jesus is the light of the World. He gives light, the ability to see, to those who want to see God. There are a lot of these. But I will stop for now. The Tabernacle points to Jesus.

It is a way of relating to God.

Jesus was and is our way of understanding, seeing, relating to God.

More to come.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2005 1:20 pm

    Good stuff Thomas. I can’t wait to hear the “rest of the story”.

    Thanks for your encouraging words!

  2. June 10, 2005 2:28 pm

    Even though David wanted BADLY to build the temple for God, it is clear that he knew God wouldn’t be confined there! In Psalms 139 he says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to the heavens, you are there. If I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
    But “dwellings” and “homes” were important for these people, who wandered the desert for so many years!
    Maybe they were asking God to “DWELL” among them when they tried building a place for him.
    Later, that request was fulfilled when Jesus LIVED among us as a human.
    Now, God has left his Holy Spirit to LIVE within us. The ultimate fulfillment of Israel’s request: Come and live among us!
    Hey, I like your pic, too. Where do you find stuff like that?!

  3. June 10, 2005 2:54 pm

    I didn’t think John 4 was an odd place to start at all. Very appropriate, I thought.

    I would think that the layout and design, functions and form, of both the tabernacle and temple would be of great interest to you in your line of work. Much more so than for the rest of us. So, it’s interesting to see what you have to say about all of it.

    Today was just great and I am really looking forward to more. I like your view of John 4 and how you connected that to other scripture about Jesus and then the tabernacle to Jesus. Very well done. You have obviously been thinking about this a lot and studying on it.

    I like the picture a lot, too. Especially the light shining down into the tabernacle and the lighting of the whole picture.

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