Summary of passage: The woman now understands Jesus is a prophet since he knows her past. She questions him about the proper place to worship since Samaritans believe Mount Gerazim is the place. Jesus explains he, the Messiah, has come and it does not matter where you worship the Lord for he is spirit.
8 ) Many followers of other religions worship other gods whom they don’t “know.” The same can be said for Christians if they don’t “know” God. True faith is having a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ, knowing Him through the Word, prayer, and faith, and worshipping Him accordingly.
9) Jesus said “salvation is from the Jews” and included himself with the Jews in verse 22 when he says “we”. Jesus was a Jew and the Jews are God’s chosen people–the ones originally chosen to worship the Lord and to know Him. God extends His grace to Gentiles as well through His Son, Jesus Christ. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament. He never changes. Both parts of the Bible are equally important in knowing who God is and growing closer to Him and obeying His laws for our lives.
10) Part personal Question. My answer: “Those who worship the Father in spirit and truth.” God wants us to worship Him with our whole hearts in truth and with the Holy Spirit as our guide with no pretenses or trappings. By giving God all of my life and all of my heart and all of my soul and all of my strength and all of my mind. (Luke 10:27).
Conclusions: I love how Jesus just lays it out: God wants all of us. Period. I love who he lays it out to: a woman who has a dubious past who may be an outcast. A woman in Ancient Times was nothing. This fact alone should convince everyone that Jesus is for everyone–especially YOU.
End Notes: The book of John focuses on Jesus’ ministry with individuals. We see Jesus as he wants us to be: an intimate friend, imparting words of wisdom to live by. He has private conversations with the woman at the well and Nicodemus. He strives to know us as we strive to know him.
Here, Jesus uses a profound image for those living in a desert environment: water. To this woman, water was everything and Jesus promises her living waters and a spring of eternal life. This would have made a profound impression on this woman.
John’s goal is to provide clarity so we can see and know Jesus. Still, many do not understand.
Here, the abrupt change in subject in verse 20 is probably the woman trying to evade the issue of her husbands.
Remember, the Samaritans combine the teachings of Moses with outside religions. They believed Moses commissioned an altar on Mount Gerazim. They cherry-picked the Bible, believing only the first 5 books.
Jesus strongly identifies with the Jewish people when he says “we” in verse 22.
Jesus announces to this unidentified woman how the time is coming where the place you worship will not matter; what matter is the how you worship. This was profound and one of the greatest announcements in the entire Bible–made unplanned at a well.
Worship in spirit and truth means no outside pretenses. All heart.
The place of worship is irrelevant because true worship must be in keeping with God’s nature, which is spirit. “True worshippers” must worship God in the power of his Spirit and in accordance with truth. Truth in John’s Gospel is Christ.
Fun Fact: This is the only time Jesus specifically speaks of himself as the Messiah before his trial. In Samaria, the term had no political overtures, probably the reason Jesus used it here.