John 4:39-45

John 4:39 — And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

40 — So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days.

41 — And many more believed because of His own word;

42 — And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

43 — Now after two days He departed thence, and went into Galilee.

44 — For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in His own country.

45 — Then when He was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

Prophecy of Christ's ministry in Galillee — Isaiah 9:1-2: Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

The reason for His ministry is given in Matthew 4:12-16: Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, He departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

know (verse 42) = absolute knowledge and complete perception

Verse 42 — Many manuscripts do not include "the Christ." The woman told them who He was — the Christ — but now they discovered what He was — the Savior.

country (verse 44) = father country, native place

His own country — Nazareth of Galilee (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24)

received Him (verse 45) — as a miracle-worker, but not as a prophet or as Messiah (see John 2:24-25 and John 4:48)

The Jews believed (but not really) because of His miracles. The Samaritans really believed because of His word alone without any miracles.

We must not leave this portion of the Gospel without showing its interesting despensational meaning. When our Lord went to Samaria He had left behind Jerusalem, and that which is represented by it, Judaism. In Samaria, He is, so to speak, on Gentile ground. What we have learned, the truth our Lord unfolds to the Samaritan woman, is specifically Christian truth. The fullness of grace, as the results of the finished work of Christ on the Cross; the coming and the gift of the Holy Spirit, indwelling the believer; the true worship, the Father seeking such worshippers; the witness bearing of the woman; the many Samaritans who believed on Him as the Saviour; are all the characteristic blessings of this age, the blessings of the Gospel as preached among the Gentiles. The two days our Lord tarried in Samaria have, therefore, also a typical meaning. They foreshadow the time when divine grace is being manifested to the Gentiles, while Jerusalem is set aside. The same period of time is indicated in the prophecy of Hosea. In chapter 6 of that Prophet we find a prophetic description of the repentance of a part of the Jews in the future. They will say then: "Come, and let us return to the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us: He hath smitten and He will bind us up. After two days will He revivie us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight" (Hosea 6:1-2). The third day is the day of their coming restoration when Israel receives the kingdom, which the Lord as the promised Messiah-King first preached unto them adn which they rejected. That third day, the day of the coming Kingdom will last 1,000 years; it is the millennium. The preceding two days during which Israel is dead, spiritually and nationally, cannot mean two literal days; they are prophetic days as God measures days — "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."

The two days here in this Gospel when our Lord tarried with the Samaritans have the same meaning typically, foreshadowing the period of time when His grace goes forth to the Gentiles, as it still does. The remainder of this chapter fully confirms this and we shall see how the recorded events show what is yet to take place in the future, when He returns and Israel is restored and blest. But before we do thsi we call attention to another fact. The Lord did not perform a single miracle among the Samaritans. Not a sick one was brought to be healed; the Samaritan woman and the other Samaritans believed without seeing a single sign, or manifestation of His divine power. It was different when the Lord sent His disciples to carry the Gospel of the Kingdom to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then He told them, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter  ye not." … Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons" (Matthew 10:7-8). And why did the Lord give power to His disciples to perform miracles? Because they were the heralds of the kingdom the King was offering to Israel, and that offer demanded the outward signs and miracles promised in connection with the kingdom. But when in Samaria the Lord did not perform a single miracle, in harmony with the characteristic of this age, the age of faith and not the age of sight. This ought to help those who have been misled by false teaching, who think that miracles, healings, certain gifts, like the gift of tongues, ought to be revived in connection with the preaching of the Gospel of Grace and the Church. — The Gospel of John, by Arno Clemens Gaebelein, pages 95-97.

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