“Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” – John 4:21

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 21-24.

(d) The spiritual nature of God and his worship. Verse 21. – Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me – a unique expression of Jesus, answering to the Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν, of many other passages, where the acknowledgment of his Divine commission had been virtually ceded; this expression is peculiarly suitable to the occasion – that an hour is coming. He does not add, as in ver. 23, “and now is.” The Divine order which links the events of God’s providence together, has not made it possible as yet in its fullness, as it will do when the revelation is complete, but the hour is drawing near, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will ye worship the Father. Christ did not say that either Samaritans or Jews were exclusively right in their preference for one local shrine or place of sacrificial worship; but he declared the sublime truth that the worship of the Father would soon prove itself to be independent of both alike and of all the limitations of place and ceremony. Every place would be as sacred and as hallowed as these notable shrines, when the full character and real nature of the object of worship became fully known. The Father was a name for God not unknown to Jew or Gentile; but so overlaid, suspected, defamed, forgotten, that the emphasis which Jesus laid upon it came with the force of a new revelation of God’s relation to man. Man is born in the image of God, and partakes of the nature and essence of the Supreme Being, and it is in God’s true nature and veritable relations with men that he will be eventually adored. When Christ speaks of “my Father” he refers to the specialty of revelation of the fatherhood in his own incarnation. The Father was only partially known in and by all the dispensations of nature and grace, but he was especially revealed in the whole of the prolonged series of facts and symbols and prophetic teachings which constituted the religion of Israel; and Christ will not allow this great revelation of the Father to pass unaccredited or to be ignored by one whom he essays to teach.

 

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