The Berean Expositor
Volume 20 - Page 135 of 195
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The Samaritan woman and true worship (4:).
pp. 221 - 224
We have seen that Nicodemus was warned that unbelief concerning earthly things
would prevent him from hearing of heavenly things, these heavenly things being
intimately associated with the Lord's ascension (John 3: 12, 13). In John 4: a very
different character is introduced, a Samaritan woman, yet to her was made a marvelous
revelation concerning true worship. The statement in John 4: 21-24 resembles the
words of Paul in Phil. 3: 3:--
"Believe Me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at
Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we
worship; for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and
in truth" (John 4: 21-24).
"We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus,
and have no confidence in the flesh" (Phil. 3: 3).
To Nicodemus the "must" concerned the new birth. To the Samaritan woman the
"must" dealt with worship.
In the record of the Lord's dealings with this poor woman we find that He speaks to
her seven times, gently leading on to the final revelation of Himself as the Messiah. The
woman's first reply was:--
"How is it that THOU, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of
Samaria?" (verse 9).
Upon the Lord's reply she asks:--
"Art THOU greater than our father Jacob?" (verse 12).
Following the conviction she receives concerning her mode of life, light begins to
break in, and she says:--
"Sir, I perceive that THOU art a prophet" (verse 19).
At first sight we may be disposed to think that the sudden introduction into the
conversation of the question of worship was a ruse adopted by the woman to avoid
further reference to her own manner of life. As we pursue the story, however, it becomes
evident that the simple revelation of her sinful life created a deep impression. Though the
Lord unfolded to her the wondrous prospect of a spiritual worship that would set aside
both Samaria's mountain and Jerusalem's temple, she says not a word about it, but, as
though still holding on to the one great fact of the Lord's knowledge of her dark life, she
interjects a further remark concerning the Lord's prophetic knowledge. And by her use