The Berean Expositor
Volume 20 - Page 137 of 195
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reveals the truth concerning spiritual worship. Whether the Samaritan woman grasped
His teaching is not our concern--let us not miss its import.
"The hour cometh and now is."--We have here a period that follows on the
destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, the reference to the place of worship at Jerusalem
being read in the light of Matt. 23: 37 - 24: 2.  This passage covers the present
"True worshippers."--There is no allusion here to the false worship of idols--John
uses "true" and "truth" many times with the sense of "real": "For the law was given by
Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1: 17). Here "grace and truth"
means "true grace" or "real grace" in contrast with the "type and shadow" grace of the
law. "My Father giveth you the true bread from heaven" (John 6: 32). Here the use of
the words "true bread" does not mean that the manna in the wilderness was false, but that
it was in itself a type or shadow of the "real bread"--the Lord Himself.
Perhaps the most precious word in the whole statement is the word "seeketh"--"The
Father seeketh such". Is not this a revelation of the heart of God? The Father seeks the
true worshipper as the Son seeks the lost. The Father goes out to us in our worship
perhaps more than we can ever go out to Him. What a blessed thought, that as surely as
we draw near to Him, He is drawing near to us!
Worship lies behind the original purpose of Satan's creation and underlies his terrible
fall (Ezek. 28:). Worship is the first cause in the covenant with Israel. Worship was
the desire of the tempter in the wilderness (Matt. 4:), and worship is the goal of the great
antichristian apostacy at the end (Rev. 13:).
The church of the mystery, and its association with heavenly places, is intimately
connected with worship. This church is itself a holy temple (Eph. 2:). As the true
circumcision its worship is entirely spiritual (Phil. 3:), and its members, holding the
Head, repudiate any imposition upon them of the worship of angels (Col. 2:). The
oft-recurring word "godliness" in the epistles to Timothy, literally means "good or
acceptable worship".
If John's Gospel ministers to the needs of believers who are to-day on the outer fringe
of the dispensation of the mystery, then the Lord's words to the Samaritan woman are
words in season. Just as the Lord told Nicodemus that to stumble at the revelation
concerning earthly things precluded all reference to heavenly things, so we shall find that
where believers are entangled with "places" of worship, ensnared in denominational
jealousies, subscribing to carnal ordinances, ceremonials and the like, they are unlikely to
hear the truth committed to the apostle Paul.