He has revealed his words to Jacob, His decrees and regulations to Israel. He has not done this for any other nation; they do not know his regulations. (Psalm 147:19-20)
It’s easy to understand why the Pharisees we so comfortable with their religion—they believed they had a lock on access to the One True God. The also believed they had a lock on the location: For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. (2 Chronicles 7:16)
In fact, they believed all nations would only come to His mountain (Jerusalem) to worship: Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:22-3)
And: All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. (Psalm 86:9)
And they were right…
But then something wondrous happened: Jesus came. And in a rather significant conversation with someone He shouldn’t have had a conversation with (a Samaritan woman), Christ changes all that exclusivity talk: Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:21-24)
We see, as Christ said, that salvation comes through the Jews, it starts with the Jews. But it’s no longer about the Mosaic ritual; rather it’s about worshiping in spirit and truth, for God is spirit. Those who will worship in spirit and truth Lord may do so from any where. This was great news for the Samaritans (see John 4:39-42) and for us Gentiles. This then gives a different interpretation to the above passage from Psalm 86. We can now come and worship before You, O Lord, any where and at any time. This is what Christ has accomplished for us. Why not worship Him now?