John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. 24 God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.
Jesus Christ being in His human nature; just as ours was subject to weariness, so Christ was also fatigued and thirsty resulting from His traveling by foot from Judea, which may have been approximately 30 miles from Jerusalem to Samaria. When He arrived Jesus sat by the well of Jacob. A Samaritan woman arrived to draw water, and Christ being thirsty asked the woman for a drink. This Samaritan woman at that instant did not know who this man was, and in her mind was only the cultural smear between the Jews and Samaritans. She went to the well with the intention of fetching water to quench her natural thirst, she was completely unaware that she was going to leave the well not with natural water; but instead with the water of life which springs up in all believers of Christ throughout eternity. As she woke up that morning she was oblivious to the fact that she would be led to Jacob’s well by God’s will and God’s providence to meet the savior of the world by divine appointment, which she would come to acknowledge as her Messiah. That was the day that God had chosen for the salvation of that sinner. Give praise and worship to God for the day He chose for you to meet your Messiah and be saved; for you to repent of your sins, and for you to commit to the love and obedience of Christ by God’s divine appointment.
Notice in the course of their dialogue how this woman came to believe He was the Messiah. Jesus asked the woman to bring her husband; to which she replied she had none. Jesus responded that she was telling the truth, and proceeded to give her information of her private life; to which there was no way any strange man especially a Jew could have known. The five husbands she had in the past, and the man she was currently living in sin with, who was not her husband; therefore, perhaps living with him even under fornication. At this point it was not yet revealed to this woman that she was speaking to the Christ; but she did come to the realization that, at least this man was a prophet of God.
Believing now that this man was a prophet she asked a question regarding worship; where is the right place to worship? Our fathers say worship here and the Jews say worship in Jerusalem. Understand that by asking where is the correct place to worship? The inquiry of who is teaching the truth is implied. No true worshiper of God is going to worship in a place he comes to find out does not teach sound doctrine. Jesus replied in verse 21 believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither worship the Father in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem. The time was coming very soon when the worship of God was not going to be confined to one location. Christ was set to commission the preaching of the Gospel to the entire world; furthermore, Christ knew as He prophesied in Matthew 24 that the Temple of Solomon where the Jews would worship would be destroyed in A.D. 70, and not one stone would be left erected on top of another. However; Jesus still answered her question in a direct way by correcting her in her worship, Christ said in verse 22 You worship what you do not know, we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Jesus was not neutral about proper worship. Jesus not only corrected the location of worship, but He also declared to her their ignorance of worship because the Samaritans did not worship God as the God of Israel, but instead the God of the land; which made God no more significant than any other idol of another country such as, a God of the land of Egypt. Jesus being a Jew sides Himself with the Jews and proclaims that the Jewish form of worship and location was correct.
Verse 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him.
The true worshipers are those who have come to believe and currently believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Those who worship God worship Him in spirit; meaning we do not worship God in the flesh, which is to say; we do not worship in any manner involving works with our hands, such as the Jews in the temple offering incense or the slaughter of animals in the tabernacle or temple. What this means for us is that, we do not worship God for the means of attempting to gain merit to result in salvation; instead we who are in the spirit of God worship God because He has already save us, who believe in Jesus Christ through the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not need to look for the types and shadows and perform the ceremonial rituals the Jews did in anticipation of the coming Messiah. For us Jesus Christ already came, who is the true Ark of the Covenant, He is the true Tabernacle, He is the true Temple and the true Lamb who God provided to be slaughtered for the remission of sins. Jesus Christ fulfilled the covenant of God and now it does not matter the location of worship so long as we know the true Godhead as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, understand the Gospel and believe in the work of Christ with true sincerity and without hypocrisy. We Christians worship God in Spirit and truth because unlike the Samaritans before us, and unlike those who worship a false God through vague religions of our day, and that goes for any religion of the world no matter what it is. Jesus Christ is the truth and the only way to salvation, and may God raise men in the likes of the apostles who were not ashamed or timid to proclaim that truth. We worship God in truth and spirit because we know who our God is and how to worship Him.