John 4:3 MEANING

John 4:3
(3) Again.--This word is almost certainly part of the original text, though it is not found in some MSS. Its omission is due to a difficulty of interpretation. What is the previous return into Galilee? The only one mentioned in this Gospel is that of John 1:43. We have had another note of time in John 3:24, from which we learn that this Judaean period of the ministry preceded the imprisonment of John, and therefore the commencement of the Galilean ministry recorded in Matthew 4:12 (see Note there) and Mark 1:14. This second return, then, is the starting-point of the history of our Lord's work in Galilee as told by the earlier Gospels.

Verse 3. - He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. But it should be observed that ἀφῆκε is a very peculiar word for a simple departure. The verb ἀφίημι is used when καταλείπω might have been expected (Westcott). The word means "to leave a thing to itself," to its own ways, to treat it as no longer exercising an influence on the mind. (It is, with the noun ἄφφεσις, used for "forgive," "forgiveness," of sins.) Jesus left Judaea, which had so imperfectly accepted his claims. The word suggests that his departure was a consequence of the action of the Pharisees; And he departed again. This refers to the first departure after the early testimonies of John, when Jesus went to Cana and Capernaum (John 1:43). Whether this journey corresponded with that mentioned in Matthew and Mark, as following the baptism and temptation of Jesus, or not, it is not to be confounded with the journey which John had already recorded.

4:1-3 Jesus applied himself more to preaching, which was the more excellent, 1Co 1:17, than to baptism. He would put honour upon his disciples, by employing them to baptize. He teaches us that the benefit of sacraments depends not on the hand that administers them.He left Judaea,.... Where he had been for some time: at the feast of the passover he went up to Jerusalem, and after a short stay there, he came into the country part of Judea, where he tarried longer; and in both about the space of eight months; for it was now but four months to harvest, which began at the passover; see John 2:13. And now upon thee Pharisees being made acquainted with his success in these parts, he leaves them; not through fear of them, but because he would not irritate and provoke them, and stir up their malice and envy against him, which might put them upon measures to seek to take away his life; whereas his time was not yet come, and he had other work to do elsewhere:

and departed again into Galilee; where he had spent the greatest part of his time, in private life; from whence he came to Jordan unto John to be baptized by him; and after that went thither again, where he wrought his first miracle: and now having been in Judea some time, he removes to Galilee again; and of this journey of his thither, after the imprisonment of John, an account is given, in Matthew 4:12. The Persic version leaves out the word "again", and so do the Alexandrian copy, and many copies; but is by others retained, and very justly.

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