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John 4:42-48

Context
4:42 They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one 1  really is the Savior of the world.” 2 

Onward to Galilee

4:43 After the two days he departed from there to Galilee. 4:44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 3  4:45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him because they had seen all the things he had done in Jerusalem 4  at the feast 5  (for they themselves had gone to the feast). 6 

Healing the Royal Official’s Son

4:46 Now he came again to Cana 7  in Galilee where he had made the water wine. 8  In 9  Capernaum 10  there was a certain royal official 11  whose son was sick. 4:47 When he heard that Jesus had come back from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and begged him 12  to come down and heal his son, who was about to die. 4:48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people 13  see signs and wonders you will never believe!” 14 

1 tn Or “this.” The Greek pronoun can mean either “this one” or “this” (BDAG 740 s.v. οὗτος 1).

2 sn There is irony in the Samaritans’ declaration that Jesus was really the Savior of the world, an irony foreshadowed in the prologue to the Fourth Gospel (1:11): “He came to his own, and his own did not receive him.” Yet the Samaritans welcomed Jesus and proclaimed him to be not the Jewish Messiah only, but the Savior of the world.

3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

4 sn All the things he had done in Jerusalem probably refers to the signs mentioned in John 2:23.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

5 sn See John 2:23-25.

6 sn John 4:44-45. The last part of v. 45 is a parenthetical note by the author. The major problem in these verses concerns the contradiction between the proverb stated by Jesus in v. 44 and the reception of the Galileans in v. 45. Origen solved the problem by referring his own country to Judea (which Jesus had just left) and not Galilee. But this runs counter to the thrust of John’s Gospel, which takes pains to identify Jesus with Galilee (cf. 1:46) and does not even mention his Judean birth. R. E. Brown typifies the contemporary approach: He regards v. 44 as an addition by a later redactor who wanted to emphasize Jesus’ unsatisfactory reception in Galilee. Neither expedient is necessary, though, if honor is understood in its sense of attributing true worth to someone. The Galileans did welcome him, but their welcome was to prove a superficial response based on what they had seen him do at the feast. There is no indication that the signs they saw brought them to place their faith in Jesus any more than Nicodemus did on the basis of the signs. But a superficial welcome based on enthusiasm for miracles is no real honor at all.

7 map For location see Map1 C3; Map2 D2; Map3 C5.

8 sn See John 2:1-11.

9 tn Grk “And in.”

10 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

11 tn Although βασιλικός (basiliko") has often been translated “nobleman” it is almost certainly refers here to a servant of Herod, tetrarch of Galilee (who in the NT is called a king, Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29). Capernaum was a border town, so doubtless there were many administrative officials in residence there.

12 tn The direct object of ἠρώτα (hrwta) is supplied from context. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

13 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied to indicate that the verb is second person plural (referring to more than the royal official alone).

14 tn Or “you never believe.” The verb πιστεύσητε (pisteushte) is aorist subjunctive and may have either nuance.



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