"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 4 Jesus in Samaria: the Living Water
Section 4.4.1: A Geographical Transition (Jn 4.43-6a)
43After the two days, he went away from there into Galilee.(44For Jesus himself had borne witness that a prophet receives no honour in his own homeland.) 45So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him because they had seen everything that he did in Jerusalem at the festival1 (since they themselves came to the festival). 46aSo he came again to Cana of Galilee, where he had made water into wine.
At first glance, v44 seems to make no sense -- why recall this saying of Jesus now (in a very different context from the Synoptic Gospels) and follow it with the statement that he was welcomed by the Galileans? Both Carson 1991 (pp 234-8) and Brown 1966 (pp 188-9) discuss this, from slightly different points of view. The key seems to lie back in chapter 2, in the discussion of those that followed Jesus because of what he had done that Passover in Jerusalem (see Jn 2.23-25). The Galileans, who had been at the festival in Jerusalem, were drawn to Jesus as the Jerusalem crowds had been, that is, they were drawn to him by the signs and wonders. This sort of attraction did not bring any honour to a prophet. There is an implicit contrast with the Samaritans who entered a deeper relationship of trust with Jesus by hearing his words. The Galileans and Judeans on the other hand did not take that second and deeper step. Nicodemos is an example of that failing, although it must be remembered that he became a disciple by the end of the story and presumably many other Judeans and Galileans did too. [[ADD MORE RE SYNOPTIC PARALLELS!]]
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1The festival in this verse refers back to the Passover spent in Jerusalem described in 2.13-25.