John 4:43-45 - The Object of Faith
THE REVELATION OF JESUS,
THE OBJECT OF FAITH, John 4:43-54
The Evidence of Faith, 4:43-45
this passage is very simple, yet it pictures one of the great lessons of the gospel—the evidence of faith.
1. Jesus entered Galilee (v.43).
2. Evidence 1: honoring Jesus (v.44).
3. Evidence 2: welcoming and receiving Jesus (v.45).
A. (4:43) The Ministry of Jesus: Jesus entered Galilee. He had spent two days with the Samaritans, and had experienced great success. However, Galilee was the area especially prepared by God for the Lord’s ministry, so Jesus returned to the area where most of His ministry was to be conducted.
B. (4:44) Honor—Jesus Christ, Honored—Belief:
1. The first evidence of faith is honoring Jesus.
When Jesus went into Galilee, He stayed away from His hometown of Nazareth. His neighbors and fellow citizens had rejected Him and had attempted to kill Him (Luke 4:29). As a result Jesus had declared, “No prophet is accepted in his own country” (Luke 4:24).
& Joseph was not honored by his brothers (Genesis 37:23-36).
& David was not honored by his brother (1 Samuel 17:28).
& Jeremiah was not honored by his hometown, Anathoth (Jeremiah 11:21; Jeremiah 1:1).
& Paul was not honored by his countrymen (Acts 9:23-24; 2 Cor.1:12-22).
& Jesus was not honored by His hometown (Mark 6:1-6).
Now as Jesus returned to Galilee, He stayed away from Nazareth; and as He bypassed the city, He again referred to the fact that a prophet has no honor in His own country.
A question needs to be asked. Why did Jesus make the declaration about dishonor here? It seems out of place. This may be meant is irony (Jn.44,48). The reception that Jesus received was likely that of curiosity seekers whose appetite centered more on seeing miracles that believing in Jesus as Messiah (2:23-25). Though the Galilieans were happy to receive in their midst a miracle worker (4:45), they did not honor Him (4:48). They began to grumble about Him (6:41) & finally leave (6:66). There are at least two reasons:
a) They Were a Special People to Him:
1) He had played with some of them as a child.
(a) He had grown up with them, lived as a friend with them; and had fellowshipped, worked, eaten, and moved among them day in and day out.
(b) The thought of their rejection and hostility toward Him often preyed upon His mind (Mark 6:1-6).
b) Jesus Had to Prepare the Disciples for Persecution.
1) They were to be severely persecuted by their fellow countrymen.
(a) He repeated the fact time and again to drive it into their minds. He wanted them prepared and not caught off guard when persecution came.
Several things need to be considered.
a) Jesus is Due Honor (Rev.4:11). He is Due All the Honor and Glory in the Universe.
1) He is the Son of God who brought God’s presence among men.
Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." (Matthew 1:23 NKJV)
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NKJV)
2) He is the Savior of the world who came to save men from perishing.
(a) He made it possible for them to live forever (John 4:42).
The word “Savior” (soter) means a Deliverer, a Preserver. It has the idea of a Deliverer, a Savior who snatches a person from some terrible disaster that leads to perishing (John 3:16; Matthew 1:21)
& Jesus Christ is said to be the Savior (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23; Eph.5:23; Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 1:4; Titus 2:13; Titus 3:6; 2 Peter 1:1, 11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:2, 18; 1 John 4:14).
& God is said to be the Savior (Luke 1:47; 1 Tim. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jude 25).
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)
And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21 NKJV)
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. "Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5:30-31 NKJV)
3) He is the Son of Man who came to earth to experience all the trials of life.
Jesus experienced the trials of life that He might feel and be touched by man’s infirmities and thereby become qualified to help man in all his suffering.
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28 NKJV)
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV)
b) People Who Believe in Jesus Honor Him.
Honoring Jesus is a clear evidence of faith. The word “honor” (timen) means to value, esteem, respect. It has three ideas that are significant.
1) The idea of superior standing, exaltation, distinction, homage, reverence, and of course, worship when referring to the Son of God.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 NKJV)
2) The idea of a price paid or received.
(a) The idea of credit due, of counting something of extreme value. Jesus is due the payment of man’s life.
(b) True honor pays the price due to the Lord: the man who “honors” the Lord “gives his life” to the Lord; The True Cost of Discipleship (Self-denial Luke 9:23; Jn.8:12; 12:26).
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV)
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:46 NKJV)
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJV)
3) The idea of preciousness. The Greek word for precious (time) means to be due honor, to be of precious value.
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone," (1 Peter 2:7 NKJV)
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8 NKJV)
c) People who do not believe in Jesus do not honor Him.
This is particularly seen in the dishonor of Jesus by His fellow citizens and the religionists ( Mark 6:1-6 ; Luke 4:16-30; John 5:15-16). An unbeliever...
& does not give Christ the worship, exaltation, or reverence due His name.
& does not pay the price of surrendering his life to Christ as Lord.
& does not count Christ as precious (due honor). Jesus’ fellow citizens demonstrated this fact. He, the very Prophet of God Himself, had no honor in His own country.
For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.' (Matthew 13:15 NKJV)
I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. "How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? (John 5:43-44 NKJV)
He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him----the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (John 12:48 NKJV)
And they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:4 NKJV)
& The fact is: a person who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father (Jn.5:23); we are not to seek honor for ourselves (Prov.25:27); we are not to honor Christ with our lips only (Matt.15:8), but with our hearts; God honors any man who will serve His Son (Jn.12:23-26); therefore, we should be vessels for honor (2Tim.2:10-26), bringing glory to God in all we do (including your talents—1Cor.10:31).
C. (4:45) Evidence Of Faith—Receiving, Jesus Christ:
1. The second evidence of faith is welcoming and receiving Jesus.
The only way to be saved and to receive the benefits of Jesus’ presence is to welcome and receive Him. Common sense tells us that a person who does not have the presence of Jesus Christ does not have the blessings of Jesus’ presence. Jesus is just not there to bless and care for the person.
a) They had heard the Lord preach & seen His works in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast.
1) They Had Not Been the Target of Jesus’ Ministry There.
(a) The citizens of Jerusalem had been the people upon whom Jesus had focused in Jerusalem. However, the Galilaeans had not felt slighted, not to the point that they shut Him out and refused to listen. They were attracted to Him, for their souls were reaching out for God.
(b) Therefore, they attended His preaching and observed His ministry. They opened their hearts to what He was saying about repentance and receiving the Kingdom of God ( Mark 1:14-15.)
Think About This: A man can never be led to believe in Christ until he is receptive to Christ. He must be willing to listen to the message of Christ.
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. (Matthew 3:16 NKJV)
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11 NKJV)
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJV)
So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; (James 1:19 NKJV)
The ear that hears the rebukes of life Will abide among the wise. (Proverbs 15:31 NKJV)
b) They Were A People Seeking and Worshipping God.
1) Note why they had been to Jerusalem.
(a) They had gone to seek and worship God at the Passover, and it had cost them. The journey was long and difficult, for they were in the northernmost part of Palestine, whereas the temple was in Jerusalem which was in the south. Also, they had to take a circular route because Samaria lay between Galilee and Jerusalem, and the Samaritans considered them enemies, posing a threat to their safety.
The point is this: these Galilaeans had a hunger for God; therefore, their hearts were better prepared and willing to receive Christ. But did they?
Think About This: A man who sincerely seeks God is better prepared to receive Christ. For this reason, men should be constantly seeking after God. Seeking God and receiving Christ are evidences of true faith (Hebrews 11:6).
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 4:29 NKJV)
Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6 )
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
c) The Idea Being Conveyed is that the Galilaeans Welcomed and Received Christ.
1) They wanted to experience Christ for themselves.
(a) They had seen Him preach and minister in Jerusalem, and they wanted the same experience for themselves and for the rest of their people. Of course, some Galilaeans did not receive Him into their lives and hearts.
& They deserted Him (John 6:66). But “as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (See John 1:12-13.)
(b) Welcoming, receiving, and experiencing Christ for oneself is the greatest evidence of genuine faith.
But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15 NKJV)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Revelation 3:20 NKJV)