John 4:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:23, NIV: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks."

John 4:23, ESV: "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him."

John 4:23, KJV: "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."

John 4:23, NASB: "Buta time is coming, andeven now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to beHis worshipers."

John 4:23, NLT: "But the time is coming--indeed it's here now--when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way."

John 4:23, CSB: "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."

What does John 4:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse is crucial for two reasons. First, this is part of Jesus' correction on the meaning of worship. The Samaritan woman attempted to distract Jesus from her sin, by asking Him to resolve an old spiritual argument. This was the question of where proper worship should occur: Mount Gerizim or the temple of Jerusalem? Rather than taking the bait, Jesus clarifies that "true" worship of God is not tied to a location, but to the intent of one's heart.

This is also important for what it says about the Samaritan woman. She has lived a deeply immoral lifestyle (John 4:16–18), such that she seems to have been cast out, even among the outcast Samaritans. Nicodemus, the educated and powerful Pharisee, needed to be humbled in order to be opened to God (John 3:9–12). This woman needs to know that she is wanted, loved, and valued. As always, Jesus meets each person at the exact point of their need.

The Samaritan woman has been looking to quench her spiritual thirst with a series of failed relationships. At first she did not understand what Jesus meant by a spring of living water, leaving no more thirst (John 4:13–14). Based on what she says in the next verse, it seems to be dawning on her what Jesus is really speaking of.