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Bible Commentaries

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

John 4

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-41

CHAPTER 10

JESUS PREACHES TO THE SAMARITAN WOMAN

John 4:1-41. “When our Lord knew that the Pharisees heard that Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John (indeed, Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples), he left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.” While the English construction leaves here an open problem, susceptible of the conclusion that Jesus did baptize His disciples, remember once for all that such an inference is utterly and positively precluded by the Greek, which sweeps all controversy from the field, and settles the matter positively and unequivocally that Jesus did not baptize any person with water, it being His prerogative to baptize with the Holy Ghost, while His disciples did baptize with water. Jerusalem and Judea were the populous regions of the country. Jesus, as we see, preferred to keep this ministry somewhat unostentatious, as there was a probability of His being troubled by Herod, as John the Baptist had already been arrested; or, in case of excessive ado over Him, the multitude would very likely crown Him King, in which case the Romans would kill Him immediately as a rival of Caesar. Consequently, leaving Jerusalem and Judea, He goes away to the less populous regions of Galilee.

“And it behooved Him to go through Samaria.” On the map you will see that Samaria reaches across Palestine, from the Jordan to the sea. Therefore the route from Judea into Galilee necessarily leads through Samaria, unless they go through Perea, thus crossing the Jordan twice.

“Then He comes into a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the land which Jacob gave to Joseph his son.” I traveled this same route during my late tour. It is about thirty miles. Sychar is synonymous with Shechem in the Old Testament, being quite a notable city, in the valley of Succoth, between Mt. Gerizim on the south and Mt. Ebai on the north, and situated on the old caravan road from Jerusalem to Damascus. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and other patriarchs and prophets, were all here frequently. When Jeroboam led off the ten tribes, he made this city his capital. Here Moses commanded six tribes to stand on Mt. Gerizim, and enunciate the blessings that would come to Israel in case of obedience; and the other six to stand on Mt. Ebal, and reiterate the curses destined to come upon Israel in case of disobedience. Before I went to these mountains and tested the matter, becoming acquainted with their amphitheatrical conformation, producing jointly a vast whispering-gallery, having the form of an ellipse, with two foci, and so constructed as to transmit sounds from one focus to the other, I used to wonder how six hundred thousand people could all intelligently bear the same utterances of the human voice. This city continued to be the capital during the reign of Jeroboam, his son Omri changing to the city of Samaria, twenty-five miles northeast. Though Reuben was Jacob’s first- born, he forfeited the birthright — i.e., a double portion of the patrimony — by his misconduct, Jacob taking it from him and giving it to Joseph, the first-born of Rachel, his favorite wife. For this reason, Joseph received two portions in the land of Canaan, which Joshua gave to his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, including this land of which we speak.

“And there was the well of Jacob. Therefore Jesus, being weary of the journey, sat thus upon the well, and it was about the sixth hour.” O how I enjoyed my visit to Jacob’s Well as I knew I was then in the track of Jesus, for which privilege I traveled seventeen thousand miles; there never having been any dispute in reference to this location Hence, when pilgrims cross oceans and seas to walk in the track of the Savior, they all know they have achieved the end in view when they walk about Jacob’s Well. This well is seventy feet deep, and was doubtless considerably deeper in the days of our Savior, as Jacob dug it as a guarantee against a water-famine, lest in that delightful and fertile region, where springs abound, they may all go dry during the long summer droughts, and his herds and flocks famish for water. During the occupancy of the Holy Land by the Christian Crusaders, A.D. 1099 to A.D. 1187, they had a stone church-edifice over this well, which, after the conquests of Saladin, and the expulsion of the Crusaders from that country, was taken down, doubtless some of the stones being permitted to drop into the well, partially filling it up; so when I saw it, November, 1899, there was no water in it. The people said it had been dry but a short time, and, as the winter rains were even then beginning, they were looking for the water to come into it. Perhaps Jacob made it ninety to a hundred feet deep, finding there an inexhaustible perennial fountain. Here we read of Jesus being weary, but nowhere is it stated that He was ever sick; sickness being the result of sin, which He never had, and weariness only that of excessive toil.

“The woman comes from Samaria to draw water. Jesus says to her, Give me to drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city, in order that they may purchase food. Then the Samaritan woman says to Him, How do you, being a Jew, ask to drink with me, being a Samaritan woman? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” When Shalmaneser, the Chaldean monarch, carried away Israel captive to Babylon, B.C. 721, leaving only a few very poor people in the land; as the years rolled on, and the wild beasts were about to take the country (of this you would not wonder, when they have so many hiding-places in the mountains), Esarhaddon, king of Babylon, sent people from different parts of his great heathen empire to come and inhabit the land, they being not only aliens, but idolaters. When Israel returned out of captivity, under Nehemiah, B.C.

490, and began to build the temple, these Samaritans, under the leadership of Sanballat, their governor, wanted to fall in as loyal Israelites, help to build the temple, and participate in the worship. On their rejection by Nehemiah and the elders of Israel as aliens and heathens, they became very mad, and did their utmost to defeat the building of the temple. This alienation developed into bitter antipathy, which was only intensified as the years rolled on. We are not to conclude that this woman was not willing to give Him a drink, but observing from His costume and physique that He is a Jew, she indulges in momentary tantalization; i.e., “Though you Jews despise all of us Samaritans, yet now, that You are weary and thirsty, You will condescend to take a drink at the hands of a Samaritan woman. Jesus responded and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who is the One speaking to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked Him, and He had given you living water.” Here we see the solution of the water-problem raised in the preceding chapter, “Born of water.” This woman thought He meant the water in the well, whereas He here perfectly relieves the matter, and solves the mystery, by telling her that He means “living water” — i.e., the water of life.

“The woman says to Him, Sir, You have no drawingrope, and the well is deep; whence then have You living water?” The disciples had gone on to the city a nearer way, doubtless carrying the rope with them, ready for use in this well or any other, as we see they bought their food and ate it at their own discretion, which is the current custom of that country at the present day, our party observing it.

“Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave to us the well, and he himself drank of it, and his sons and his herds?” You must remember that the Samaritans, though in the main aliens and heathens, and consequently reprobated by the Jews, claimed the bona fide lineage of the patriarchs, through those few Israelites who survived in the land after the Babylonian captivity.

“Jesus responded and said, Every one drinking of this water, shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drink of the water which I will give unto him, shall never thirst; but the water which I will give unto him, shall be a fountain of water, springing up unto eternal life.” You see here that while the water in the well, which had to be drawn out, emblematizes regeneration, this springing water is an artesian well, which the Savior puts in the heart when He sanctifies us wholly. While running along through the Great American Desert, on my way to California, I look out and see a beautiful green farm, wrapped in verdant meadows, luxuriant gardens, prolific orchards, and fruitful fields. I wonder why this inspiring relief in the midst of the rainless, burning deserts. Now I see the problem solved. There is an artesian well in the midst, pouring out a constant stream of water, about six inches in diameter, perennially, night and day, shooting up into the air, the excessive overflow forming a beautiful limpid lake, from which all that country is abundantly irrigated. The sanctified man has this artesian well in his soul, shooting up a living stream, night and day, wherever he goes. He has plenty for himself, and it is a joy in the community.

“The woman says to Him, Sir, give to me this water, in order that I may not thirst, nor come hither to draw.” Occidental women have no conception of the toil endured by their Oriental sisters in carrying water from the fountains, frequently to a great distance, as this well is about a mile from the city.

“Jesus says to her, Go, call your husband, and come hither.” Why this sudden transition of the subject? Jesus is a Model Preacher, and knows precisely how to do it. Your preaching will never be a success without true and radical conviction, which strikes deep into the heart, takes hold of the interior spirit, and never looses its grip. As Jesus knew all about her life, He here sends a thunderbolt into the secret citadel of her soul, going down and striking the taproot of that native evil, which had developed into her besetting sin.

“The woman responded and said, I have no husband. Jesus says to her, You spoke truly, That I have no husband. For thou hast had five husbands, and the one whom thou now hast is not thy husband; thou hast spoken this truth.” This poor woman was a freelover, this being the grand citadel of her soul’s enemy. Jesus struck the great rock of her sinful nature in the center, the breakage radiating in all directions. Therefore He had a glorious case of lightning conviction. Lord, help us to preach like Thyself! I am an old revivalist, having been preaching forty-six years, and am now used of the Lord mainly on the teaching line. When I enjoyed my physical vigor, I never found a place where I couldn’t have a revival. I always began with the Sinai gospel, preaching for conviction till it came on my congregation like a nightmare from the eternal world. You see here that Jesus begins with conviction, adopting the only available method of securing it; i.e., looking His auditor straight in the face, and telling her the blackest sin of her life.

“The woman says to Him, Sir, I see that you are a prophet.” You see, conviction has already reached her, and this total Stranger, on whom she has been looking with the odium of a Jew, she now confesses to be a prophet of the Lord.

“Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and You say that Jerusalem is the place where it behooveth us to worship.” From the time Nehemiah and the elders at Jerusalem rejected the cooperation of Sanballat and the Samaritans, they had turned about and built a great and magnificent temple on Mt. Gerizim, as a rival of the temple on Mt. Moriah at Jerusalem. When I was there, I climbed great Mt. Gerizim to its summit, visiting that temple, which is yet majestic, though in ruins. On the beautiful plateau surrounding that temple, the Samaritan millions were accustomed to gather and keep the Passover and other institutions of Moses.

“Jesus says to her, Woman, believe Me, that the hour cometh when you will neither worship the Father in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem. You worship you know not what.” That was true, because their worship was really a mixture of Judaism and idolatry. “We worship what we know, because salvation is of the Jews;” i.e., the Savior was to come of the Jews, and bring salvation to all the world. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for such the Father seeketh worshipping Him. God is a Spirit, and it behooveth those worshipping Him to worship in spirit and in truth.” These deliverances of our Savior certainly sweep away forever the local ecclesiasticism which existed in the Hebrew nation down to the Messianic advent, a necessity of the times, in order to identify the progenitorship of Christ, revealing clearly to all the world His lineage from Adam, and establishing, beyond the possibility of controversy, His identification with the human race, which is indispensable to His efficiency as a Mediator, without which the plan of salvation would be as chimerical as the legends of the Hindoo gods, having their abodes in the skies, and little sympathy with suffering humanity. Therefore the Jewish religion focalized at Jerusalem, rigidly inhering in the Abrahamic seed, fortified impregnably in its exclusiveness by the irrefragable laws of the Mosaic theocracy. The egregious mistake of the Christian ages has been the institution of local, and, in many instances, national ecclesiasticisms, a practical return to the Jewish dispensation. The New Testament organization recognizing no officers but the pastor, in charge of the spiritual interest; the deacon, the temporal interest; and the eldership, the general interest, and is so simple and imcomplicated as to peregrinate the globe with the moving tide of population, incurring not the slightest inconvenience, having no Jerusalem but the city beyond the stars, whose Builder and Maker is God, as the heralds of the universal commission, recognizing the “world as our parish,” every continent and island our meeting-house, the cerulean dome of the arching skies the covering of this universal temple, in which we worship God; as Jesus here assures us that the “true worshipers do worship Him in spirit and in truth,” recognizing the essentiality of no interceding priest but Jesus, who is our Great High Priest, and no baptism but that of the Holy Ghost and fire, which He gives. Thus panoplied with the infallible Word of God, we march forth, claiming the world for Christ, with all possible expedition evangelizing all nations, in constant anticipation of our glorious coming King, riding down on a cloud, crowned and sceptered, King of kings and Lord of lords; thus verifying this grand truth He here preaches to the woman at the well, as the glorious ultimatum of His incarnation, that this whole world shall be turned into a Jerusalem, in which “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” When the Lord hears the cries of His saints, and projects a holiness movement in the earth, it is always free from the entanglements of human ecclesiasticisms — the gospel, the true Church, the kingdom of God, is a pure spirituality, as here we see clearly taught by our Savior. If the present holiness movement ever crystallizes into an ecciesiasticism, her power is gone, like Samson; shorn of her locks by the Delilah of carnal sectarianism, she will wake up to the fact that the Holy Ghost has retreated away, and she has no more power than her sisters.

“The woman says to Him, I know that Messias cometh, who is called Christ; when He may come, He will proclaim to us all things. Jesus says to her, I am He, the One speaking to thee.” You will find that more than two years had rolled away before our Lord openly declared His Messiahship to the Jews. One good reason for His reticence on this subject was, that they all understood that the Christ was to be their King, and would have crowned Him unhesitatingly. In that case the Romans would have put Him to death as a rival of Caesar. But when you recognize the fact that the Gentiles did not want a Jew for their king, you see at once that there was no need of this reticence as to His Christhood while preaching to the Gentiles, such as these Samaritans and the Gadarenes, to whom He openly proclaimed His Messiahship. In some way the expectation of the Messianic advent was at that time anticipated in the whole world. Here you see this fallen heathen woman had it at her tongue’s end.

“At this His disciples came, and were astonished because He was speaking with the woman.” The reason of their astonishment was because they had no idea that He would preach to the Samaritans; this being a brilliant scintillation of the oncoming conflagration destined to roll the fires of the Holy Ghost over the Gentile world. “No one indeed said, What do you seek, or why do you speak with her?” A realization of the Divine presence evidently overawing the disciples.

“Then the woman left her water-pot, and went away into the city, and says to the people, Come, behold a Man who told me all things whatsoever I have done; whether is not this One the Christ? They came out from the city, and came unto Him.” We see here that this woman was really electrified through and through. Having come for water, leaving her water-pot, she fled away, and stirred the city by her vehement proclamations. “Meanwhile His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, eat; and He said to them, I have meat to eat which you know not. Then the disciples said to one another, Whether has any one brought Him anything to eat? Jesus says to them, My food is, that I may do the will of Him that sent Me, and I shall perfect His work.” We are not altogether dependent on material food for the sustenance of our bodies. Moses, Elijah, and Jesus all fasted forty days without feeling a sensation of hunger, supernaturally sustained by the Holy Spirit in a state of ecstasy. Rich spiritual experiences economize a vast amount of table expenses. Here we have the proof, as Jesus is our Exemplar. This problem I wonderfully realize in my personal living. I have traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa, and forty States in America, never finding a place where I could not live bountifully, having everything I wanted to eat, on fifteen cents a day.

“Do not you say that it is yet four months and the harvest cometh? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and see the fields, because they are already white unto the harvest. He that reapeth receiveth a reward unto eternal life, in order that the sower and the reaper may rejoice together. In this, the word is true, That one soweth, and another reapeth. I have sent you to reap that on which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their toil.” It was the month of May at that time, when the barley harvests are all ripe, the wheat being harvested in June, these two whole months thus being devoted to the harvest in Palestine; the sowings having taken place the preceding winter, four months previously. Now the application of this illustration is simple and clear. In that country, just about four months elapse after the sowing till the reaping. The fields at that time were everywhere ripe and white, inviting the sickle. In the case of the gospel, we do not have to wait the four months. We can sow today, and reap today. With God, one day is as a thousand years, and a minute as good as a month, the execution of His mighty works in regeneration and sanctification depending on our repentance, faith, and consecration. It is our privilege to reap a harvest speedily, or it may be prolonged many years. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joshua, and the prophets had all preached in that country, and now He is preaching. There is no need of waiting for the crop to grow and mature, as already the sowings of their predecessors are ripe for the sickle. Besides, such is the omnipotence of gospel grace, that the seed He is sowing at that very time may spring up, develop into a glorious harvest, and be reaped that very day. Hence, gospel workers have wonderful encouragement. We can sow for others to reap after we are dead and gone; we can reap what others sowed before we were born; or we can sow and reap the same day, and even the same hour. If we can not reap, let us be content to sow for others to reap. If we can not sow, let us be content to reap what others have sown. Glory to God for His unutterable grace!

“And many of the Samaritans from the city believed on Him on account of the word of the woman testifying, That He told me all things so many as I did. Then, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to abide with them, and He remained two days. And many more believed through His word. And they continued to say to the woman, That we no longer believe on account of thy gabbling; for we ourselves have heard and know that He is truly the Christ, the Savior of the world.” Here we see that Jesus stops and preaches two days in Shechem (Sychar), the old capital of Samaria, and one of the oldest cities in the world, often visited by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets. The result of His preaching is a great, spreading revival. Proud Churches contemptuously reject the testimony of fallen women. Here you see these heathens not only receive her testimony, but they are so moved by her ministry that they run away in great crowds to the well, to see the Man whose preaching had so powerfully converted their neighbor. The Greek lalia (“speech”), as applied to this woman, means gabbling, indicating the uncouth dialect of this poor, ignorant, illiterate woman. Here we see our Savior’s approval of woman’s ministry in a very broad sense, as this poor fallen woman was not only His only auditor in His first sermon at the well, but becomes His efficient witness and prominent helper in the great revival which follows. After so many Samaritans receive Him with joy, and confess their faith in His Christhood, they proceed to notify the woman that, while she was instrumental in moving them to seek Jesus, and they set out relying on her testimony, that they are no longer dependent on her ipse dixit, as they have personal assurance that this Man is none other than the Christ, the Savior of the world. There is but one way they could possibly have such an assurance, and that is to come to Jesus, and get intelligently and experimentally saved. Hence, there is no doubt but the fruits of that glorious revival will be seen in the day of eternity.

Let us never be discouraged with a small audience; as here you see this glorious Samaritan revival began with a solitary auditor, and she such as the respectable Churches reject with contempt. Here we have these two notable cases in our Savior’s ministry — the fallen woman at Jacob’s Well and Nicodemus in Jerusalem, each one complimented by the Savior with a gospel sermon, which has been ringing round the world ever since, and bringing thousands to God. When you preach to an individual, there is no room for dodging. Never is the gospel so potent as in case of direct personal appeal. Here you see our Savior spending His precious noonday, preaching to this lonely fallen woman. But she gets gloriously saved, runs away and stirs the city by her testimony, so that many come running, hear the gospel, and get saved too. So, if you want a revival in the community, follow the example of the Savior — make a specialty of some hard reprobate. When you get one notorious sinner gloriously saved, he or she will stir the whole community, and give you a great revival.


Verses 43-45

CHAPTER 11

JESUS PREACHING IN GALILEE

John 4:43-45; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; & Luke 4:14-15. “And after two days He went out from thence, and departed into Galilee. For Jesus Himself witnessed that a prophet has no honor in his own country.” Now what is the force of this affirmation of Jesus? You must remember that Nazareth, where He was brought up and spent the first thirty years of His life, is in Galilee. So He was denominated a “Galilean.” Having entered upon His ministry in Jerusalem by purifying the temple, and spent the eight days of the Passover preaching to the thronging multitudes, and perhaps a month following in the populous regions of Judea, His fame spreading abroad, and attracting vast multitudes to His ministry; John the Baptist, who had been the sensation about eight months, somewhat waning, while the trend of the multitude is to Jesus. The tendency of His rapidly increasing popularity is to arouse the Jews to crown Him King, which would have interfered with His ministry; whereas it was transcendently important that He should be permitted to finish His work. Consequently He leaves the populous regions of Judea, and goes away into the comparatively thinly populated country of Galilee, where they will not make so much ado over His ministry, nor be so likely to interrupt His work by precipitating His royal coronation. In addition to this fact, His nativity and residence in Galilee had conduced somewhat to render Him common, and would militate against the probability of that great popular excitement which would be likely to result in crowning Him King.

Mark: “He was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, That the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draweth nigh; repent and believe in the gospel.” Luke: “The fame went throughout all the surrounding country concerning Him, and He was teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” The seventy weeks of Daniel — i.e., the four hundred and ninety years, according to the year-day system peculiar to prophetical interpretation — had already expired. The scepter had already departed from Judah; besides, there was a general fulfillment of the prophecies pointing to the coming Messiah about that time, John the Baptist, the greatest of the prophets, having not only preached Him, but pointed Him out, introducing Him to the people by baptism; while the Holy Ghost from heaven had descended on Him, and the Divine voice, from God the Father, had rung in the ears of the multitude, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Of course, the kingdom of heaven (Matthew all the time says, “Kingdom of heaven,” and Mark, “Kingdom of God,” they being precisely synonymous) is at hand in very truth, because the King is here, and of course having the kingdom with Him; as a kingdom means a government. Hence, all the true disciples of Jesus come under His government, and become citizens of the kingdom.

While repentance was the constant, burning appeal of John the Baptist, we see that when Jesus comes, preaching the gospel, He not only preaches repentance, thus fully endorsing and corroborating John, but He preaches faith, commanding all to repent and believe the gospel. Repentance breaks the yoke of Satan, an indispensable prerequisite to their reception of Christ, as they could not serve two masters. As Luke says, “Glorified by all.” Hence we see that, as His fame went abroad into all lands, a wonderful tide of popular excitement immediately sprang up in all directions, concentrating on this wonderful Prophet of Galilee.

John 4:45. “Then, when He came into Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all things which He did in Jerusalem during the feast; for they also came to the feast.” The Jews, from all parts of the world, were accustomed to gather at Jerusalem at the time of the great national festivals; e.g., the Passover in April, Pentecost fifty days afterward, and the Feast of Tabernacles in September. These Galileans, who had witnessed His miracles during the Passover (of which there is no record, this being the only allusion to them), and heard His preaching, now rally to Him from all parts of the country, stirring all the people, telling them that a wonderful Prophet, like unto Elijah and Elisha, had risen in Israel.


Verses 46-54

JESUS HEALS THE SON OF THE ROYALIST

John 4:46-54. “Then Jesus again came into Cana of Galilee, where He turned the water into wine; there was a certain royalist, whose son was sick in Capernaum. He, hearing that Jesus has come out of Judea into Galilee, came unto Him, and asked Him that He may come down and heal his son; for he was about to die. Then Jesus said to him, Unless you may see miracles and wonders, you will not believe. The royalist says to Him, Lord, come down before my little child dies. Jesus says to him, Go, thy son liveth. The man believed the word which Jesus spoke to him, and departed. And he, already coming down, his servants met him, and announced to him, saying, Thy child is alive. Then he asked of them the hour at which he began to convalesce; and they said to him, That yesterday the fever left him at the seventh hour. Therefore the father knew that in that hour in which Jesus said to him, That thy son liveth; and he and all his house believed. Again, Jesus did this second miracle, having come out of Judea into Galilee.” I use the word royalist instead of nobleman, as E.V., because the Greek is basilikos, from basileus, “a king,” and means a kingly man. He was evidently a member of the Herodian family, who were the kings of that country. Some identify this case with that of the centurion. (Luke 7) This is a great mistake. The centurion was a Gentile; this man is a Jew, belonging to the royal family; i.e., a Herodian. The centurion is characterized by very strong faith, so that when Jesus proposed to go to his house, he refused to give Him that trouble, but said, “Speak the word only, and it is done.” This man had faith in Jesus, or he would not have come from Capernaum to Cana after Him. But the royalist's faith was weak, and for that reason he insisted hard that Jesus should go to Capernaum and heal his son. In order to strengthen his faith, Jesus does not go, but simply tells him that his son is healed. Capernaum stood on the northern shore of the sea of Galilee; Cana about forty miles southwest, near Nazareth. I visited both of these places last November. At that time traveling was generally on foot. Doubtless the man traveled as a pedestrian or equestrian; and receiving the message of Jesus at one o'clock, set out for home at once, traveling constantly through the afternoon and night, and arriving early the next morning, perhaps before day. His servants meet him, perhaps at the gate, and bring him the joyous news that his child is alive, the power of the disease being broken, and every symptom of recovery. He then asked them at what time he began to convalesce; they say, “At one o'clock yesterday the fever left him.” This produced a powerful effect on him and his whole family, wonderfully booming his faith and inspiring the faith of his household, so they had quite a hallelujah time, all believing in Jesus and sweeping into the kingdom. You see here the signal wisdom and mercy of our Savior in refusing to go, but simply giving the man His word, illustrating the fact the very opposite of popular opinion. We generally think the demonstrative sights, sounds, and excitement the measure of true faith and real efficiency. The very fact that Jesus saw that the man's faith was weak was a reason why He would not go, but leave the man simply to take Him at His word. The effect was to wonderfully increase his personal faith, and inspire that of his whole family. Strong faith sets but little store on signs and demonstrations, being perfectly satisfied with the simple Word of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Godbey, William. "Commentary on John 4:4". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/john-4.html.

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