John 4:19-24
 
John 4:19 (KJB)
The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
 
Now the woman realizes that Jesus knows all about her life and her lifestyle. She would be familiar with the prophets and the intimate knowledge they had about certain situations. She showed Jesus respect by calling Him “Sir” and a prophet.
 
John 4:20 (KJB)
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
 
Notice how quick she turned the conversation from her personal life to religion. This may have been a quick diversionary tactic which is used by many when the conversation throws the spotlight on their sinful lifestyle. The woman now points to the mountain which is Mount Gerizim, the mountain where God placed the blessing upon. The Samaritans were outcasts so they did not worship in Jerusalem, instead they worshipped at Gerizim where they built a temple when they were barred from helping to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. (Ezra 4:1-3 KJV) Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity builded the temple unto the LORD God of Israel; {2} Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and said unto them, Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. {3} But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel, said unto them, Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the LORD God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us. She knew that Jesus was a prophet of Israel and He would have known that Jerusalem is where the Temple was and that was where they were to worship, even though it did not seem to come up in the conversation.
 
John 4:21 (KJB)
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
 
Jesus is now revealing what is soon to come, that is, there will be no more designated place to worship the Father. The words “believe me” are in the Imperative Mood making them a command that Jesus is not making a suggestion but He is telling her straightly that something different is coming concerning the method of worship and the relationship one has with God. Jesus is basically telling her that the old way of worship is soon to be set aside and a new way of worship is imminent.
 
John 4:22 (KJB)
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
 
One of the problems that the Samaritans had was that they only had accepted the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch. While in passages like Deuteronomy 18, they could get a glimpse of the coming Messiah but without the rest of the books of the Hebrew Scriptures, they could not get a true interpretation of the coming of Messiah from all the other prophets. They were very limited in their knowledge of the Scriptures. This is why Jesus had said unto her that they do not know what they worship because of their truncated understanding of Scripture. However, the Jews had all the Scriptures which were given to them which enabled them to have knowledge of the coming Messiah. Therefore up to that point, they had full knowledge of the coming Messiah even though it was cloaked in many of the Scriptures. Psalm 22:18 being a quick example. (Psa 22:18 KJV) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. Then Jesus states that salvation is “of the Jews.” The words in the Greek behind “of the Jews” are in the Genitive which is the case of possession. This does not mean that one must become a physical Jew to become saved, what it means is that salvation, who is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, came out of the lineage of the tribe of Judah. Salvation is not found in a temple or a certain place of worship. It is found in the Lord Jesus Christ who came from the Jews.
 
John 4:23 (KJB)
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
 
Here the woman is being told that the hour is coming and that hour is now, that the temple in Jerusalem nor the temple on Mount Gerizim will offer a completeness in worship. The old Mosaic system was a system which consisted of human works coupled with earthly items. Now the true worshippers, those who have become born again by the Spirit of God, will worship Him in Spirit and truth. This means that those who become saved will be indwelled by the Holy Spirit who will implant the truth about God into the soul of the saved person. (John 16:13 KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Truth. Under the old system, much fear pervaded it because if the High Priest did not perform his duties properly, then he was consumed and the sins of Israel were not forgiven. Now with the indwelling of the Spirit, that fear is turned into love for God and joy in His holy presence. When we become indwelled by the Holy Spirit, He teaches us all about the Father and His attributes such as love, mercy, compassion, faithfulness and many others. These things were not known under the old dispensation of law but now the believer has the truth about God which means He can worship God in truth and that worship is done in joy and not cowering fear. We understand a lot more about God through the Spirit than through the Mosaic system. All of this will come about because of the sacrifice of Jesus.
 
John 4:24 (KJB)
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
 
Samaria was surrounded by many pagan nations for many years and those pagan nations all had some type of physical representations of their false god, of course, which were all idols. Some were Dagon, Milcom, and Baal. The true God is a spirit and those that worship Him, must do it according to Spirit. This means that a spiritually dead person, the unsaved, cannot truly worship God, because they are dead. Those who are born again are indwelled by the Holy Spirit who makes us alive unto God and teaches us the truth about God and as we come into more and more truth about God from the Scriptures, we continually worship Him as our understanding of God grows. We then come to a realization of what He has done for us, to take us from a hell bound sinner and make us a king and priest in His Kingdom. (Rev 5:10 KJV) And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. This is why systems like the Mosaic system cannot really be considered worshipping God because those who are offering the sacrifices of animals are not really spiritually prepared to be in God’s presence. If the law requires a certain sacrifice for a certain sin, then even a spiritually dead person can respond in the flesh accordingly.
 
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