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Jesus says unto her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.

Everywhere, beloved, we have need of faith, faith the mother of blessings, the medicine of salvation; and without this it is impossible to possess any one of the great doctrines. Without this, men are like to those who attempt to cross the open sea without a ship, who for a little way hold out by swimming, using both hands and feet, but when they have advanced farther, are quickly swamped by the waves: in like manner they who use their own reasonings, before they have learned anything, suffer shipwreck; as also Paul says, Who concerning faith have made shipwreck. 1 Timothy 1:19 That this be not our case, let us hold fast the sacred anchor by which Christ brings over the Samaritan woman now. For when she had said, How say ye that Jerusalem is the place in which men ought to worship? Christ replied, Believe Me, woman, that the hour comes, when you shall neither in Jerusalem, nor yet in this mountain, worship the Father. An exceedingly great doctrine He revealed to her, and one which He did not mention either to Nicodemus or Nathanael.

She was eager to prove her own privileges more honorable than those of the Jews; and this she subtly argued from the Fathers, but Christ met not this question. For it was for the time distracting to speak on the matter, and to show why the Fathers worshipped in the mountain, and why the Jews at Jerusalem. Wherefore on this point He was silent, and having taken away from both places priority in dignity, rouses her soul by showing that neither Jews nor Samaritans possessed anything great in comparison with that which was to be given; and then He introduces the difference. Yet even thus He declared that the Jews were more honorable, not preferring place to place, but giving them the precedence because of their intention. As though He had said, About the ‘place’ of worship you have no need henceforth to dispute, but in the ‘manner’ the Jews have an advantage over you Samaritans, for ‘ye,’ He says, ‘worship ye know not what; we know what we worship.’

St. John Chrysostom

 

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