You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.…
I. THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE SAMARITANS AND THE JEWS.
1. Samaritan worship was offered in ignorance. They were little better qualified than the Athenians. Rejecting the prophets, their faith rested on tradition, and was given up to superstition. As they were ignorant of the object so they were of the form of worship which God had appointed. "Will worship," however costly and apparently honouring, is rejected. So the Saviour brought home to the woman the sad fact that she had never worshipped. This is just the case of those who only repeat the words of prayer taught them in childhood.
2. The true worshipper's worship with knowledge.
(1) The Spiritual Israel. Christ was a worshipper of God not only as Mediator but as man. As High Priest He gives to His people His informing Spirit, through whom they have an intelligent knowledge of God's character and will, and the form by which to approach Him.
(2) The literal Israel to whom were committed the oracles of God, and such worshippers as Zacharias and Elizabeth, Simeon and Anna.
3. A special relation existed between the Jews and the great Salvation.
(1) Its author was a Jew.
(2) Its first messengers were Jews.
(3) And as Salvation so the true worship was of the Jews. To that all the Old Testament worship pointed.
II. THE TRUE WORSHIP.
1. Who are the true worshippers? Those
(1) Who have Spiritual knowledge of God;
(2) Who worship with grace in the appointed way;
(3) Who are opposed to all false worship;
(4) Who apprehend the true medium of worship and so have admission into the holiest.
2. What is it to worship the Father?
(1) Not as the judge and avenger.
(2) With the fellowship of children, not the penance of bond servants.
3. What is worship in Spirit?
(1) Not mere outward worship.
(2) Not mere intellectual worship.
(3) But "praying in the Holy Ghost" in that new nature He has given and with-the help He has promised.
4. What is worship in truth?
(1) That which corresponds with the nature of the God of truth.
(2) Through Him who is full of grace and truth, by whom alone we have access to God.
5. What is "the hour?" —
(1) As coming it is the object of Divine appointment.
(2) As come, the era foretold, the dispensation of the Spirit had actually arrived.
(3) Is there not a personal hint of that supreme moment which the woman made the crisis of her spiritual history! Only then can true and Spiritual worship begin.
III. ONLY THE TRUE WORSHIP IS PLEASING TO GOD. The Father has a right to determine this and has done so.
(A. Beith, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.