John 4:39-54

Although Jesus does perform His second miracle in this passage, there is also a continued emphasis on the importance of the Word over the miraculous. In John 4:23-24 we saw that many followed Jesus because of the signs, but that He did not “commit Himself to them.” Here we read that He says, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will by no means believe.” That wasn’t intended as a compliment! And it comes on the heals of the Samaritans believing the word of the woman at the well, and then believing “because of His own word.” John seems to be preparing us for a new age, where the Spirit works more though the Word than the miraculous. Miracles can encourage true faith, but they are not the be all and end all of belief:

Luke 16:27-31 “So the rich man said, ‘Then I beg you, father—send Lazarus to my father’s house (for I have five brothers) to warn them so that they don’t come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to them.’ Then the rich man said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

And Jesus’ ministry foreshadows the coming gospel mission. He starts with the Jews (which is emphasized by His meeting with Nicodemus), but also ministers to the Gentiles (by going to Samaria). Once again we are reminded that the gospel is not just for the Jews, but for everyone:

Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”

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