Kissing the Hand of God

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

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The Bible tells us in John 4:24 as Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” What comes to mind when you hear the word “worship?” Do you think of bowing down in honor and reverence? We will look closer at this question further into the column.

In John 4, Jesus uses the word worship or worshiper eight times. The Samaritans were viewed by the Jews as half-breed dogs, and they did their best to stay far away from Jesus. He said he must go through Samaria. Jesus knew that this troubled lady coming to draw water in the heat of the day due to her lifestyle needed His help. She was taken back that this Jewish man would ask her to give him a drink of water, and then He tells her that He can give her living water and she will never thirst again. She did not quite understand how He could give her water since He had nothing with which to draw the water. Jesus goes on to tell her that He knows she has had five husbands and the man she currently resides with is not her husband. She immediately views him as a prophet. Jesus the tells her that God is a Spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and she responds in verse 25, “……I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.” The Lord revealed unto her that he was the Messiah that had been prophesied. She believed.

Now let’s get back to the word “worship.” The Samaritans were viewed as dogs. In 60 of the 91 occurrences of “worship” in the New Testament, it is the Greek word proskuneo. It means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” She kissed the Master’s hand. Literally and figuratively, to proskuneo is to fawn over, crouch to, and fall down to kiss the ground before. To worship God is to lick his hand like a dog. The Greek word for worship is a compound word which literally means “towards” and “to kiss.” Put together, the word means to “kiss towards.” To kiss the hand of God, we must understand His value. The woman immediately left her water pot and went into the city and told the others about Jesus. She knew she had met the One that would take away the sins of the world. Many from the city returned with her and believed upon the Lord. 

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She went to the well to draw water. The water was a needed resource, but when she meets Jesus, she leaves the water pot and goes to tell others. The physical water was less valuable than the living water she had just received. Are we valuing other things in our lives more than our relationship with Jesus? He must be first and foremost. I pray we value Jesus more than our own lives and kiss His precious nail-scarred hand in worship, honor, reverence, and praise. He alone is worthy!

(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Hampton.)