John 4:19-26

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For this study the theme is "God Is Spirit"

Today’s Passage is from John 4:19-26 NIV

"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. [20] Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." [21] "Woman," Jesus replied, "believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. [22] You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. [23] Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. [24] God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth." [25] The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." [26] Then Jesus declared, "I, the one speaking to you-I am he."

Today we delve deeper into the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, a narrative replete with spiritual profundity and divine revelation.

The woman's recognition of Jesus as a prophet in verse 19 opens the door to a deeper theological discussion. Her shift from a personal reflection to a broader religious question about the proper place of worship reflects a common human tendency to divert from confronting personal spiritual issues to engaging in religious debates. Yet, this also signifies her growing awareness of Jesus' spiritual authority.

In verses 20-22, Jesus addresses her question, transcending the historical conflict between Jews and Samaritans over the correct location for worship. His response, "salvation is of the Jews," acknowledges the Jewish roots of salvation history. However, He immediately elevates the conversation, emphasizing that true worship transcends geographical boundaries. This foreshadows the global scope of the Gospel, breaking down the barriers of ethnic and cultural divides.

Jesus' declaration in verses 23-24, that "the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth," is revolutionary. He speaks of a new era of worship, not confined to physical locations or rituals, but characterized by its spiritual nature and grounded in truth. This teaching invites all believers to engage in an intimate and genuine relationship with God, unencumbered by external religious trappings.

The woman's mention of the Messiah in verse 25 reflects a common hope among Samaritans and Jews alike. Her statement, though somewhat tentative, reveals a yearning for the promised Deliverer. Jesus' direct revelation to her in verse 26, "I that speak unto thee am he," is profound. It is one of the few instances where He explicitly reveals His Messianic identity, signifying the inclusivity of His mission and the grace extended even to those on the fringes of Jewish society.

In this passage, we are reminded of the universal call of the Gospel. Jesus demonstrates that true worship is not about external religiosity but about a heart transformed by truth and animated by the Spirit. It encourages us to seek a deeper, more authentic relationship with God, rooted in the reality of who Jesus is and the truth He reveals. 

This passage calls us to worship God in spirit and truth, transcending cultural and traditional boundaries to embrace the fullness of His grace and truth.