What Jesus Did! 'Beyond Place and Through the Jews' — John 4:21-22

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

[When the woman at Jacob's well asked about the correct place to worship,] Jesus replied, "Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews."
— John 4:21-22 NLT

Key Thought

True worship is not centered on a place, but on God — Father, Son, and Spirit. In this passage, Jesus addresses worshipping the Father, who has been revealed to us by Jesus as our ever close, always holy, Abba Father. God's work of salvation began in earnest with his promises to Abraham. Leading up to Jesus, the truth about God was revealed through God's work among the Jewish people. The Holy One of Israel kept his promises through the difficult years of Israel's history and brought his promises to fulfillment in Jesus. He brings a fresh approach to worship and to drawing near to God. Jesus said, "the time is coming" when any place is a place of worship. That time is here! Let's worship as Jesus teaches us to worship. His first point [1] is that we are to worship the Father wherever we are. We don't need to go some special place or go at a special time to be in God's presence to worship him because his presence is with us continually. [2] That worship includes recognizing how he has brought salvation to us and thanking him for that salvation.

[1] In the upcoming devotionals, we will see the additional points that Jesus made as he continued his conversation with the woman.
[2] Special places and special times are not needed for worship since God is with us as believers (John 14:23; 1 Corinthians 6:19 where "body" is singular and the context in 1 Corinthians 6:12-18 indicates that Paul was writing about individuals) and when we are together as believers (1 Corinthians 3:16).

Today's Prayer

Holy One of Israel, the Almighty God who is faithful to his promises, I praise you for your majesty and might. I come to you as my Abba Father, the giver of salvation in Jesus. I am humbled by your incredible work through history in your people Israel. I praise you for the salvation that you have brought to me in Jesus. Keep my heart centered on you as I worship you in deed and in truth. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 2:13-25
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
  • Ephesians 1:3


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Illustration of John 4:21-22 NLT —  You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.