John 4:22-24—Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Jesus did not give in to the prejudice of His culture, but neither did He deny the error in the Samaritan belief system. Their version of the Laws of Moses was corrupted. They had formed a counterfeit belief system that did not lead to salvation, that is, to the Messiah. The tendency today is to praise the lack of prejudice but condemn Jesus’ judgment on woman’s religious beliefs. Jesus was leading her to the truth, not some universal acceptance of all belief systems. The issue was not about which mountain was the appropriate God-pleasing mountain to worship on, but about the heart. The true worshippers are more concerned about the condition of their spirit not ritual. They are more concerned about truth than cultural acceptance. What good is worship if the heart is fixed on the wrong thing or if the substance of belief is untrue? The Father is not looking for the correct procedure but for those worshipping in spirit and truth. With that expression, He bridged their cultural differences and found the common ground of a heart seeking God. Then He told her a most amazing thing. God is looking for that kind of worshipper. We don’t have to go groping around after God. We just need to worship in spirit and truth and He will find us. He is a spirit. He is not some physical object. You don’t need to worship before or in some special setting, but you do need to worship Him in spirit. He is the truth. There is nothing false in Him. That is why the two requirements for worship are that you worship in spirit and truth. You must be honest about your condition. Nothing is hidden from Him. You can’t present one aspect when your heart is hiding something contrary. He sees right through us.