whether Jerusalem is a holy place of Christians.
WORSHIP “WITH SPIRIT AND TRUTH”
What did Jesus mean when he said that we must worship “with spirit and truth”?
A conversation that Jesus had with a Samaritan woman reveals God’s view of worship at sacred places or shrines. Jesus was traveling through Samaria and stopped to rest at a well near the city of Sychar. He struck up a conversation with a woman who came to draw water from the well. As they talked, the woman pointed out a major religious difference between the Jews and the Samaritans. “Our forefathers worshipped on this mountain,” she said, “but you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where people must worship.”—John 4:5-9, 20.
The mountain that the woman referred to was Mount Gerizim, located about 30 miles (50 km) north of Jerusalem. There the Samaritans once had a temple where they celebrated festivals such as the Passover. However, instead of focusing on this controversial difference between them, Jesus said to the woman: “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” (John 4:21) What an astounding comment, especially coming from a Jew! Why would the worship at God’s temple in Jerusalem cease?