Place of Worship

Place of True Worship

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JOHN 4 BIBLE STUDY
7-19 Samaritan Woman

20-22 Place of Worship

23-24 Worship in Spirit and Truth
25-30 Messiah
31-42 God's Work
43-45 A Prophet Has No Honor
46-54 Capernaum
JOHN 4:20  20 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and ye Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Where is the woman saying is the Jews' place of worship?
She is referring to the temple in “Jerusalem.”

Where is she saying is the place of worship for Samaritans?
The temple they had built on Mount Gerizim, which is about 10 miles west of Sychar, where Jesus is speaking to her.

After calling Jesus a prophet, why does she all of a sudden bring up the controversy over the correct place to worship God?
She may have been trying to divert the discussion away from her exposed sins of adultery (see Samaritan woman). At least now she is also speaking about the spiritual realm.

JOHN 4:21  21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when ye will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

What “hour” is Jesus referring to?
The hour of His death on the cross to pay the death penalty due for our sins.

In which place had God ordained the Jews to worship Him until then?
The temple in Jerusalem, where they were to sacrifice animals to foreshadow and until Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

To whom does the “ye” in John 4:21 refer?
Both Jews and gentiles, including Samaritans, who will worship God after Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

Where will they worship Him?
“Neither” on Mount Gerizim “nor in Jerusalem.”

Then where?
Jesus never indicated a building, location or even a country as the place to worship God after His sacrificial death on the cross. God does not care where we worship Him and His words on the next page emphasize this.

But doesn't the Bible also say that Christians should go to church?
The word “church” is found 120 times in the New Testament and always refers to a gathering of Christians, not a place to go; ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia), the Greek word translated “church” literally means an assembly or gathering of people. That a church is not a place is especially clear in 1 Corinthians 14:23, which starts, “if the whole church comes together in one place...”

Then what does this mean for the billions of dollars spent to build attractive church buildings?
They contradict Jesus' teachings and are often driven by the ambitions and/or pride of men. God cares about neither the location nor the beauty of buildings.

How much money has your church spent to buy, build, maintain and pay the mortgage on your church building vs. on missions and caring for the sick and poor Christians and even non-Christians?

 

JOHN 4:22  22 “Ye worship what ye do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

To whom do the “ye” and “we” in John 4:22 refer?
Samaritans and Jews, respectively.

What does Jesus mean by salvation being “of the Jews”?
ἐκ (ek), the original Greek word translated “of” more precisely means “from” or “out of.” So Jesus is telling her that the Savior will arise from the Jewish people.

Is sincerity sufficient for proper worship?
With great sincerity, people around the world worship as God everything from cows, snakes, large rocks or trees behind their village or even cut wood: He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak... He burns half of it in the fire; with this half he eats meat; he roasts a roast, and is satisfied. He even warms himself and says, “Ah! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” And the rest of it he makes into a god, his carved image. He falls down before it and worships it, prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god!” (Isaiah 44:14, 16-17) Before being concerned with how to worship, we must “know” (John 4:22) whom to worship. Sincerely worshipping animals and left over firewood is at least a waste of time.

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