The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 257 of 261
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This incident brings us nearer to Christian worship than any passage we have hitherto
considered. This act of worship was not the product of sudden fear or great joy in the
presence of some awe-inspiring spectacle. It was slowly built up, steadily approached,
and calmly acknowledged. The steps in it are indicated by the growing acknowledgment,
"A man", "A prophet", "The Son of God". One more passage in John's Gospel speaks of
worship, but we reserve consideration of John 4: for the next article.
#9.  "Neither in this mountain,
nor yet in Jerusalem" (John 4: 21).
pp. 242 - 246
It is extraordinary at first sight to think that the Saviour condescended to discuss the
matter of "worship" with a poor sinful Samaritan woman, but said nothing about it to
"the master of Israel", Nicodemus, who would have been so much better qualified to
discuss the matter. When, however, we remember that the flesh profiteth nothing, that
Nicodemus was no more able to appreciate the nature of true worship than the Samaritan
woman we recognize the workings of grace and with bowed hearts prepare to read once
more concerning true worship in a truer frame of mind.
The revelation of the Samaritan woman's private life, caused her to pause and to say
"Sir I perceive that Thou art a prophet", but whether the sudden introduction of the highly
controversial subject of worship was made by her in an attempt to prevent any further
reference to her private life, or whether being convinced both of her own sinfulness and
the fact that she stood in the presence of One Who could enlighten her on such a subject,
we may never know; possibly the woman's motives, like so many of our own were
Whatever be the truth of the matter, the Saviour most graciously allowed the new
subject full scope, and the subsequent record made by John has provided us with,
perhaps, the most comprehensive statement as to the nature of true worship that the
New Testament contains. The thought uppermost in this woman's mind was the correct
"place" where worship should be offered.
"Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place
where men ought to worship" (John 4: 20).
As readers of the New Testament unconsciously adopt the attitude of the Jew when
thinking of the Samaritans, it may be useful to record a few outstanding features
concerning them, especially those bearing upon the matter of worship. The Samaritans
have four basic tenets of belief.
1: That Jehovah alone is God. 2: That Moses alone is the Law-giver. 3: That the
Torah (the five books of Moses) is the only divine book, and 4: Mount Gerizim is the
only house of God.