In Spirit and Truth
Topic: Wisdom & Knowledge
“Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand, while we understand what we worship, since salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Indeed, it is just such worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and those who worship him ought to worship in spirit and truth.”
Apostle John (c. AD 6-100)
The Gospel of John
Wilson, Andrew, editor. World Scripture II. Universal Peace Federation, 2011, p. 727 [John 4.24-25].
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This was the site of Jacob’s well. Jesus, tired from his journey, rested there at the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” The quote above is from their conversation.
Commentary by St. Thomas Aquinas
Then he shows that the third type of worship is appropriate from the very nature of God, saying, God is spirit. As is said in Sirach (13:19), “Every animal loves its like”; and so God loves us insofar as we are like him. But we are not like him by our body, because he is incorporeal, but in what is spiritual in us, for God is spirit: “Be renewed in the spirit,” of your mind (Eph 4:23). In saying, God is spirit, he means that God is incorporeal: “A spirit does not have flesh and bones” (Lk 24:39); and also that he is a life-giver, because our entire life is from God, as its creative source. God is also truth: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (below 14:6). Therefore, we should worship him in spirit and in truth. And so Jesus says: I who speak to you am he, i.e., I am the Christ: “Wisdom goes to meet those who desire her, so she may first reveal herself to them” (Wis 6:14), and below (14:21): “I will love him, and reveal myself to him.”
–James A. Weisheipl, O.P. [Commentary On The Gospel of St. John, St. Thomas Aquinas, Part I: Chapters 1-7].