John 4:21. “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.”
In this verse, as in the passage in which Jesus called His mother Woman, there is no disrespect. In our day, He would have said, “Ma’am.” He was not looking at this woman as a prostitute, but as a soul that needed the living water that He offered.
By the way, a blogging friend of min, RJ Dawson, sent me a message saying that the prophet Jeremiah is the first one recorded to have used the term living water to refer to the Lord. The references are Jer. 2:13 and 17:13. I was not aware of this, so thanks, RJ, for the references 🙂
Believe Me: There was urgency in what Jesus was sharing with the woman. He could have said, “Listen!” or “Pay attention!” And I think she did listen. She was hearing new things that she’d never heard before, and don’t forget that Jesus spoke with all the authority of God.
The hour cometh: The following statement, that “neither in this mountain (Gerazim), nor at Jerusalem, will ye worship the Father” must have amazed her. The tradition of the Samaritans was that Moses had built an altar on Gerazim, the mount of blessing, thereby establishing that mount as the accepted place of worship. Keep in mind that there was no temple in Jerusalem in Moses’ day.
The problem, of course, was that they were trying to combine elements of the Hebrew faith with that of the false gods of the people in that area. It never works. We cannot adjust God’s way to suit our own surroundings or purposes. The moment untruth is introduced into God’s plan, it takes over the minds and hearts of those who want to follow the untruth, for whatever reason. Usually, the reason is to fit in with everyone else.
What Jesus was preparing this woman to hear, especially when He said, “Nor at Jerusalem,” was that worship does not require a specific place to make it valid.