What does John 4:22 mean?
ESV: You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
NIV: You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
NASB: You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.
CSB: You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews.
NLT: You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.
KJV: Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
Verse Commentary:
The nation of Israel is God's chosen people. This was the line which God chose to produce Jesus Christ, the Messiah (Romans 9:4–5). The truths of God's prophets came through this nation. Other people, such as the Samaritans, were not given this full level of revelation. They were allowed to see the same creation as all other people (Revelation chapter 1), but they did not "know" God as the Israelites did. This did not leave them incapable of knowing anything about God, but it did mean there was a limit to what they could understand.

Jesus is in the process of correcting the Samaritan woman's concept of God. Unlike Nicodemus, this woman was uneducated, poor, disrespected, outcast, and living in sin. And yet, those who worship God in spirit and truth are His: He wants those people to worship Him. This will be an incredibly uplifting message for a woman beaten up and thrown aside by the world. Verses 23 and 24 will put this new perspective into clear terms.

This section of John shows how Jesus' life on earth was meant to complete the old, imperfect, and temporary means of reconciliation with God. Jesus came as the new sacrifice for sin (John 1:29), replacing the old ways of atonement (John 2:6–9), with His body the new temple (John 2:19–21), bringing a new birth (John 3:1–7), a new and living water (John 4:11).
Verse Context:
John 4:5–26 describes one of the most famous moments in Jesus' earthly ministry. Here, He converses with a Samaritan woman. This particular woman is not only an ''unclean'' Samaritan, but an outcast among her own people. She attempts to avoid Jesus' teachings, giving flippant and sarcastic answers. Despite that, and despite knowing all about her sin, Jesus encourages her with the love of God. This breaks through her hard heart; as a result, many others are brought to meet Christ. The disciples are also taught a valuable lesson about the purpose of their mission.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. Jesus both confronts her about her sin, and comforts her with the truth of the gospel. In particular, He explains that even though He knows her sins, He still seeks after her, and those like her. The woman returns to town, eventually bringing many people to meet Jesus. The disciples, meanwhile, have to be reminded of the purpose of their mission. Jesus also heals the son of a government official in a way that demonstrates the importance of trusting faith, rather than reliance on spectacle.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 4 continues the use of contrast. Jesus goes from conversing with an educated, powerful, prestigious man to talking to an outcast, unlearned, self-conscious woman. The combination of this passage, along with Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, makes an important spiritual point. The gospel is for all people, in all places, and all times. Christ can reach each person exactly where he or she needs to be reached.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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