After the two days he departed for Galilee (John 4:43)
Without the context, this text means nothing. After what two days? Who departed for Galilee? The text is simply telling us a journey Jesus undertook. Now, in the opening words of John Chapter 4, we are told Jesus initially set off on a journey to Galilee:
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee (John 4:1-3).
As the narrative progresses, we see there was two days ‘interruption’ of that initial journey in Samaria. That interruption is what is referenced in the opening text as “After the two days”. As we read the narrative further, we get to know why those two days interruption occured. Purposely to
- Attend to the salvation of the adulterous Samaritan woman
- Attend to the salvation of the other Samaritans.
Humanly speaking, God sometimes ‘interrupts’ our schedule (as part of His will) by bringing people our way who need to hear the gospel and come to faith. When such an opportunity comes, will you see it or pass it by? Think of the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). In John 4, it is clear the two days ‘interruption’ was not accidental. It was divinely ordained. Before Jesus set off on the initial journey, we are told: “he had to pass through Samaria” (John 4:4). His journeying through Samaria first was for the shortness of the journey but most importantly because of His encounter with the Samaritans.
Now, the most important question to ask of ohe opening text is “why was Jesus heading towards Galilee”? The answer is, again, in the narrative:
- There was a Roman official whose son was ill and needed healing: “there was an official whose son was ill” (v.46).
- Far more important than the healing, the official and his household needed to be saved “And he himself believed, and all his household”(v.53).
Again, there is another point worth noting in the text. Consider Jesus’ words in an earlier verse. He said: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.(v.34). This is a passion to accomplish God’s will which obviously means reaching out for the lost. There were a group of people who needed Jesus in Galilee hence the journey. The message is clear. Christ searches and seeks out for the lost. He bids you come: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).