Place of Worship

Place of True Worship

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Place of Worship
JOHN 4 BIBLE STUDY

John 4:20-22 Place of Worship

JOHN 4:20  20 “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Did Jesus say anything about the place of worship?
The you is plural; the Samaritan woman is referring to what “you Jews say” about the place to worship.

Where is the woman saying is the place of worship according to Jews?
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 (16 kilometers) 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. At least now she is also speaking about a spiritual topic.

JOHN 4:21  21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you 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 Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross until He accomplishes it.

To whom does the “you” in John 4:21 refer?
Both Jews and gentiles, including Samaritans

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; εκκλησια (ekklesia), 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 (examples) and caring for the sick and poor Christians and even non-Christians?
 

JOHN 4:22  22You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews.

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

What does Jesus mean by salvation being “from the Jews”?
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 for himself cedars and takes the cypress and the oak... Half of it he burns 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, and 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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