John 4:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:30, NIV: "They came out of the town and made their way toward him."

John 4:30, ESV: "They went out of the town and were coming to him."

John 4:30, KJV: "Then they went out of the city, and came unto him."

John 4:30, NASB: "They left the city and were coming to Him."

John 4:30, NLT: "So the people came streaming from the village to see him."

John 4:30, CSB: "They left the town and made their way to him."

What does John 4:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus speaks with a Samaritan woman at a well near the town of Sychar. Not only is He willing to converse with her, He knows her shameful past, and her spiritual struggles. While the disciples go into town and come back only with food, this Samaritan woman will convince others that they need to come and hear from Jesus themselves.

The fact that the people of town are on their way to see Jesus helps to clarify the meaning of His words in this passage. In verse 35, Jesus will tell His disciples to look—to "lift up your eyes"—on the fields of a harvest. Most likely, He would have been indicating the approaching crowd from the Samaritan town.

This incident is a powerful object lesson for the disciples. Their true purpose, in Christ, is not about physical things. It's about bringing others to a knowledge of the Messiah. The response of the townspeople is the first part of that lesson.

The second will come much later. When Jesus leaves His apostles to return to heaven, after His resurrection, He will tell them to be His "witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." In John chapters 2, 3, and 4, Jesus has done just that. He has traveled from Jerusalem to Judea, and into Samaria. Here, the Samaritan people will be proclaiming Him the Savior of the entire world (John 4:42). This underscores the purpose of discipleship and evangelism: teaching others about Christ, so they can go and do the same.