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Focus on Intimacy, not the Gifts

Rev. Tetteh-Annor Larbi | March 9, 2024 | John 4:16-26



Sir, the woman said, I can see that you are a prophet. John 4:19 (NIV)



From our passage today, we learn about Jesus' demonstration of the gift of the word of knowledge, which captured the Samaritan woman's attention during their interaction at Jacob's well in Sychar. As Jesus unveils the woman's past and present circumstances, He leads her to a pivotal realization: true worship is not bound by physical locations or rituals but is rooted in the intimacy of a personal relationship with God. Jesus redirects her focus from external practices to the heart of worship, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and sincerity in our connection with the Father.

We are challenged to examine our approach to worship and intimacy with God. Too often, we can become preoccupied with the outward expressions of our faith—the songs we sing, the prayers we recite, the rituals we observe and the manifestations of the gifts of the Spirit —while neglecting the deeper intimacy that God desires. Jesus reminds us that true worship is not about the form or structure but about the condition of our hearts. It is about surrendering ourselves fully to God, allowing His Spirit to lead and guide us in genuine adoration and devotion.

Moreover, Jesus reveals Himself to the Samaritan woman as the Messiah, the long-awaited Saviour who brings salvation and reconciliation to all who believe in Him. In doing so, He emphasizes how central His person is in our worship and relationship with God. Our focus should not be solely on the gifts or blessings that God provides but on the Giver Himself. Jesus invites us to fix our eyes on Him, to cultivate a deep, personal relationship with Him as the foundation of our worship and spiritual life. The manifestation of spiritual gifts can often deceive many, leading them astray. Instead, our focus should be on the fruits produced by these gifts.



Let us heed the invitation to prioritize intimacy with God over external expressions of religion. Let us seek to cultivate a genuine, heartfelt connection with our Heavenly Father, recognizing that true worship flows from a heart surrendered in love and devotion to Him. May we shift our focus from the gifts to the Giver, finding fulfilment and joy in the intimacy of our relationship with Jesus Christ.



Heavenly Father, may we not be focused on the gifts of the Spirit but shift our gaze to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. May we desire true intimacy with You in genuine and sincere worship. For your dear name’s sake. Amen.





DAILY word study: PROPHET  In John 4:19 (NIV), the Samaritan woman refers to Jesus as a prophet. This term "prophet" is translated from the Greek word "προφήτης" (prophētēs), which refers to someone who speaks forth or speaks on behalf of God.

In the Jewish context, prophets played a significant role in communicating God's messages, warnings, and teachings to His people. They were often chosen and anointed by God to relay His will and reveal His plans. Prophets could also foretell future events, but their primary role was to convey God's truth and call people to repentance and obedience.

When the Samaritan woman calls Jesus a prophet, she acknowledges His authority and spiritual insight. She recognizes Him as someone who has divine knowledge and understanding, which is evident in His ability to discern her past and reveal the true nature of her life.

While the Samaritan woman's perception of Jesus as a prophet is accurate, it also foreshadows a deeper truth about His identity. Jesus is not just a prophet but the Messiah, the Son of God, who brings salvation to the world. Through His teachings, miracles, and ultimately His sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus fulfils the role of the ultimate Prophet who reveals God's plan of redemption for humanity.


How does recognizing Jesus as a prophet challenge us to listen attentively to His teachings and heed His call to repentance and faith?

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