What does John 4:23 mean?

What is worshiping in "spirit and in truth? It is in John chapter 4.

23: But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24: God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The context of this text is a discussion that Jesus has with the woman at the well. She correctly recognizes Jesus as a prophet and asks him a question regarding the appropriate place to worship God. Jesus teaches that the place for worship was of no consequence to God. It does not matter whether we worship in the city or in the country. It does not matter whether we are in a house or in a tent, or in an open field. The place where we worship has nothing to do with whether the worship is acceptable to God.

    Jesus reminds the woman that since she was a Samaritan she could not have been taught the truth about the Worship of God. The Samaritans had parts of the Old Testament which they recognized as inspired, (i.e. the Pentateuch), but they rejected all of the prophecies of the Old Testament. Since they rejected the prophecies of the Old Testament they also rejected the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. Salvation was coming to the world through the Jews.

    In verse 23 Jesus says:“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”

    Notice the contrast here between the “true worshipers” and the Samaritans who followed their own traditions rather than the Word of God. This verse clearly demonstrates that God SEEKS true worshipers. There is such a thing as false worship, or ignorant worship. The Samaritans were guilty of ignorant worship. Jesus contrasts this with “true worship.”

    True Worship is characterized by two things. 1) It is in spirit or from the heart, in other words it is sincere. 2) It is in truth, that is it is according to the dictates of the Word of God, which is the TRUTH (John 17:17). One must NOT ONLY be sincere, but his worship MUST be directed by the word of God. To do something in worship which is not taught in the Word of God is make the same mistake that the Samaritans made in Jesus’ day.

  • 1 decade ago

    In John 3 Jesus taught Nicodemus that he should be born again of water and of spirit. Water means repentance and baptism. Then one is worthy to recieve the Holy Ghost and capable of worshiping in Spirit. Worship in truth is following all that Jesus taught. There was no Bible as we know it then when he said that to the woman of Samaria, so he was referring to his teaching some of which has been preserved in the New Testament.

    Source(s): gospel of John KJV
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    spirit and truth mean..in word and deed....much like when the pharacees wore the phalacteries, what God meant buy "binding the word of God to their foreheads and arm ...is it must be by word and deed........

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