John 4:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:1, NIV: "Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John--"

John 4:1, ESV: "Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John"

John 4:1, KJV: "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,"

John 4:1, NASB: "So then, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that He was making and baptizing more disciples than John"

John 4:1, NLT: "Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John"

John 4:1, CSB: "When Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John"

What does John 4:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

One of the recurring themes of the gospel of John is God's timetable. Jesus is always aware of God's intended timing. This influences how public He is with His miracles (John 2:9), how he wants others to speak of Him (Matthew 17:9), and even where He spends His time.

If John the Baptist's antics were enough to attract investigation from the Pharisees, Jesus' ministry was sure to do the same. In this case, attention from the Pharisees could have led to a confrontation. The time is not right, at least not at that moment, so Jesus chooses to move along back to Galilee.

This is an especially interesting choice, since verse 4 indicates that Jesus "had to" pass through Samaria. In terms of geography, there are routes to Galilee from Jerusalem which do not pass through Samaria. The more common choice for Jewish people would have been to take a slightly longer route, avoiding the hated Samaritans. The fact that Jesus "had to" take this route is another sign of His commitment to His mission and to the will of God.