THE 4 GOSPELS PARALLELED (Part 6 (11) – (13))

(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” {Zondervan])

(11) Jesus Leaves Judea To Return To Galilee        
“But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.”
“When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.”
John the Baptist, in his preaching had spoken out against Herod’s injustice and other immoral actions. Herod, seeing the great crowds that were following John and being greatly awakened by his preaching, grew alarmed that such a following could lead to a rebellion against his office; deciding to strike first he put John in prison to diffuse any such uprising. John’s work was now complete and Jesus returned to Galilee to begin His own ministry.
Having gone down to Judea from Galilee (via Aenon and Salim) to be baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus returning to Galilee chose to pass through the region of Samaria – “Now he had to go through Samaria” , normally Jews on their journey between Judah and Galilee usually avoided travelling through the region of Samaria by crossing the Jordan and travelling on the east side of the river. Hatred between the Jews and Samaritans stemmed from the period of captivity during which heathen people were sent there from Assyria to repopulate the Northern Kingdom. When the Jews of the southern Kingdom returned after the captivity from Babylon they would have nothing to do with the Samaritans and this continued to the time of Christ. Jesus travelling through Samaria had to do with His ministry rather than the region, for although the people were foreign to Jewish customs many would embrace the message of the gospel
(12) Jesus’ Conversation With The Woman Of                             Samaria     
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Jesus, in His humanity was tired from His journey, sat down at the Jacob’s Well in Sychar to wait for His disciples, who had gone into the town to purchase food, when He meets the Samaritan woman who had come to draw water from the well. Jesus, in His divinity, knew the real need of the woman and opens a conversation with her by requesting a drink of water, at which the woman, surprised at this request, responds by suggesting that in light of the hostility and spiritual impurity of the Samaritans, how could a Jew drink water that she would serve in her container ; at which point Jesus turns the conversation to her spiritual need  “living water” .

Whoever drinks of the well water would become thirsty again and will need more, but the living water would not need to be replenished – “whoever drinks….will never thirst….the water…will become…a spring of water welling up to eternal life” – the woman at this time did not fully understand Jesus’ statement, so He told her “Go call your husband and come back” . The ensuing conversation demonstrated to the woman the fact that Jesus knew all about her (His divine attribute of omniscience) and led to her turning the conversation to the subject of worship – “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim…we must worship in Jerusalem” – Jesus then introduces the new form of worship that would become possible through His earthly ministry
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
God’s true worshipers must “worship in spirit and in truth” was Jesus’ response to her question – it was not a question of location but that of who was to be worshiped – worship of God would become evident to those who drank of the living water and such would be able to truly worship .
The woman’s next statement indicates that Samaritans as well as Jews were expecting the Messiah – “I know that Messiah….is coming” to which Jesus’ reply is the only reference before His trial that He does say that He is Messiah – “I who speak to you am he” (I…Am he) . The woman then returns to her village with the message – “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”. Meanwhile the disciple return and Jesus indicates His mission as well as theirs “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” – while the ministry of the disciples was to the “fields” of people like the Samaritans who were waiting to hear the gospel – “ripe for harvest” – Jesus had begun the work of preaching the gospel and they were called to complete that work, they were to “harvest the crop for eternal life” thus causing the sower and the reaper to rejoice together confirming the saying – “I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” .

Thus the work of sowing had begun in Samaria and “Many of the Samaritans….believed…because of the woman’s testimony” , coming to the knowledge that “this man[Jesus] really is the Savior of the world”

(13) Jesus Returns To Galilee   
“When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.”
“…the Galileans welcomed him” – Although Jesus was not appreciated or welcomed by the people of His own city Nazareth, the Galileans welcomed Him; but for who or what was their welcome – they certainly did not welcome Jesus as Messiah – they were only interested in what His miracles could do for them for they had witnessed these miraculous signs when they were at Jerusalem for the Passover .

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