What We Learn From Jesus
About True Worship
Does God approve of all worship?
▪ Jesus’ heart went out to people who had been deceived by false religion. He warned of “false prophets that come . . . in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15) Have you noticed that some people use religion for evil ends?
Jesus said in prayer to God: “Your word is truth.” (John 17:17) So God disapproves of worship that contradicts the truth of the Bible. Therefore, to some religious hypocrites, Jesus applied the words of God that say: “It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.”—Matthew 15:9.
Is there a true religion?
▪ When Jesus met a woman in Samaria who had been deceived by false religion, he said to her: “You worship what you do not know . . . The true worshipers will worship the Father with spirit and truth, for, indeed, the Father is looking for suchlike ones to worship him.” (John 4:22, 23) Clearly, true worship can be found.
Jesus said: “I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” So Jesus knew that the religion he taught was the only true one. (John 8:28) Therefore, he said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Since true worshippers are united in one approach to the Father, they must be united in one true religion.
How can you recognize true worshippers?
▪ A Christian is one who follows Jesus Christ. Consider four ways in which imitating Jesus’ example clearly identifies his followers.
1. Jesus Christ said in prayer to Jehovah: “I have made your name known.” (John 17:26) True Christians still do likewise.
2. Jesus preached about Jehovah’s Kingdom and sent his disciples from house to house to do the same. He said: “Into whatever city or village you enter, search out who in it is deserving.” Later, he told his followers: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matthew 10:7, 11; 28:19) You can easily recognize true Christians today because they continue the same work.
3. Jesus refused to take sides in politics. Thus, he said of his followers: “They are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world.” (John 17:14) True worshippers should be well-known for their political neutrality.
4. Jesus was self-sacrificing in his love for others. He said: “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) True Christians care for one another and take no part in wars.
How can true worship benefit you?
▪ To practice true worship, you first need to know Jehovah well. Knowledge of God will enable you to pursue the best way of life and will fill your heart with love for God. Jehovah promised life without end to those who love him. Thus, Jesus said: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God.”—John 17:3.
For more information, see chapter 15 of this book, What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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“Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves.”—Matthew 7:15