“Jesus told her, ‘Believe me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…. But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and in truth'” (John 4:21-24, CSB).
Mount Gerizim was the Old Testament location where God was to pronounce blessing on the Jewish people upon entering the promised land: “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal…. When you possess it and settle in it, be careful to follow all the statutes and ordinances I set before you today” (Deuteronomy 11:29, CSB). This ceremony was solemnly performed after the Israelites began to take possession of the promised land (see Joshua 8:30-35).
During Jesus’ time Samaritanism was alienated from Judaism. This alienation had evolved over many centuries starting with the division of Israel into northern and southern kingdoms and the bad influence of evil kings in the northern kingdom. The conquest of Israel (northern kingdom) by Assyria and the resulting importation of foreign colonists greatly modified the Jewish religion in that region.
“Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord.” (Exodus 28:30, NLT).
One of the primary priestly functions was to determine God’s will for His people. The priest’s chestpiece provided a container for the Urim and Thummim.The Hebrew words descibing the chestpiece literally meant “chestpiece for decision.”
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is under the sway of the evil one.” (1 John 5:17, HCSB)
The book of I John is a book of contrasts. John begins his letter by contrasting darkness and light. He declares that “God is Light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him” (vs. 1:5).
“But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me” (John 15:26, NLT).
At the Last Supper Jesus explained to His disciples that He was going away–He was going to be arrested and executed–and so He would send the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, to be with His disciples.
“For we are not able to do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” (2 Corinthians 13:6, HCSB).
The Apostle Paul is telling the Corinthians in this verse that regardless of their opinion about him, the truth of the gospel will prevail.
Paul said that as an apostle he had exercised no power over those who received the truth of the gospel. And any apostolic power he had exercised was to defend the truth of the gospel by instructing, reproving, or censuring those that opposed, denied, or contradicted it.
Some of the Thessalonians had succumbed to a teaching that Christ had already come and so the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians refutes this false teaching.
Paul seemed somewhat surprised by the Thessalonians’ lack of discernment over doctrines he had already taught them (vs. 5).
“They talked it over among themselves. If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet. So they finally replied that they didn’t know. And Jesus responded, Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things” (Luke 20:5-8, NLT).
One day near the end of His earthly ministry while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the religious leaders challenged His authority. Jesus responded to the challenge by asking them by what authority did John the Baptist teach and baptize.