October 5, 2018

Seeing and Believing 

By: Larry Shaffer

As referenced yesterday, this is a pic of the youth choir from my church in 1974. The Overlake Singers!

Seeing and Believing  

John 4:39-54 

So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. Many more believed because of His word; and they were saying to the woman, ‘it is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world. 

This portion of Scripture has two sections. 

  • Two days in Samaria which was initiated by Jesus’ contact with the woman at the well. 
  • Jesus’ return to his home in Galilee (around the cities of Nazareth and Cana).  

There is a stark contrast between the reception of the people from these two places. Regarding His time in Samaria it says the Samaritans “believed in Him because of the word” and many more believed because of His word”. Further confirmation of the Samaritans faith is revealed in verse 42; “…we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the World.”  

The focus for the Samaritans wasn’t signs or miracles but belief in His Word and faith in what they had heard!  

Contrast the response of the Samaritans to the next couple verse when he returns to his home region; 

“the Galileans received him (receive, not believe) having SEEN (not heard) all the things that He did (not faith in His words) in Jerusalem. These are the ones who will soon cry out, “crucify him, crucify him.”

The emphasis in Samaria was people believing His word and the emphasis in Galilee was receiving Him because of signs and miracles. John summarizes by writing the following in verse 44,  

“for Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his hometown.”  

And then in verse 48, 

“unless you people see signs and miracles, you simply will not believe.”  

Lord, the Samaritans were half-breeds who were despised by the orthodox Jews. Nevertheless, Jesus went to them (for God so loved the world) and they responded to Jesus with faith and obedience.  May I follow their example and cling to you in faith and obedience.  It’s all because of who You are and the truth of Your Word and not because of what you can do for me. Amen!