John 4:23 (It’s Coming… It’s Here)

Now Not Yet

But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)

Read: Joshua 7:1 – 9:27, 1 Chronicles 2:7 

Relate: I love a paradox. Maybe it is just me, but I love trying to wrap my mind around two different concepts that, somehow, both must be true. The most common paradox in physics is light. Is it a wave or a particle? Yes. In theology there are a few of these.The Trinity itself is a paradox. God is 3/1. Then there is that age old question, is God sovereign or do we have free will? Yes. I think the greatest of all the theological paradoxes, however, is the now and the not yet. The Kingdom of God is coming, but it is here now. We are citizens of heaven but we are residents of earth. The time is coming… indeed it is here now.

React: Most of what defined Jewish worship were simply types, or symbols, of things to come. The city, the Temple, the priests, the sacrifices, even the clothing they wore all in one way or another pointed toward things to come. When Jesus arrived the need for those symbols was done. God had come to earth. He was the fulfillment of what those types were looking toward. The time had come.

Yet the time was coming. Jesus had not yet gone to the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He had not yet risen proving Himself victorious over death and the grave. He had not yet ascended to the right hand of the Father, and He had not yet sent the Spirit to come and dwell in us. The time was still to come, even though it had already arrived. Today this is still true for us. Even though all these things have arrived, we still wait for Him to return and bring us to His home. So we can now worship Him in Spirit and in truth but we still look forward to that day when we can truly, fully worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Respond: 

God, You are so great, so awesome, and majestic. All the universe sings Your glory. Yet still our eyes are clouded from truly seeing how great You are. In coming to earth You have revealed Yourself. Through Your teaching You have revealed Your mind. In Your healings You have revealed Your compassion. Through the cross You have revealed Your love and the empty grave reveals Your power. Yet there is still more to see. We wait eagerly for the day we will see You in all Your glory. We worship You now yet we wait for that day when we can truly see You as You are.

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6 thoughts on “John 4:23 (It’s Coming… It’s Here)

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on the “Now and Not Yet.” John Stott inspired a sermon I heard by Charles Price on this very thing: I found int very helpful.

    [audio src="http://media01.thepeopleschurch.ca/sermon/content/201402091130/mp3_full/201402091130.mp3" /]

  2. I love your posts. I support anybody who’s supporting The Lord. God should be priority one. But how do we reach people that don’t believe. I want to reach out to the people who are downtrodden, hurt, lonely, and who have been outcast battered and beaten. (or at least I think I do) How do we reach them? (Of course, only if that’s God’s will)

    • We keep doing the next right thing….God will guide each of us through his will. Your passion to want to help others is a gift from God. Nurture it and God will help you find your way.

  3. This is a very moving article. That is why we have a hope that goes beyond the grave. It is eternal in the heavens. God is so gracious, kind and generous in His mercy and love that we cannot truly comprehend the awesomeness of God Almighty!

  4. It is difficult for us to hold those opposing thoughts – we want to solve the dilemmas until we have all the answers. Yet, that would put God in a neat little box, wouldn’t it? If we are to have continuing faith, we must be content with grappling with questions and trusting that God’s thoughts and ways are not ours, and are, in fact, greater than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).

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