John 4:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:33, NIV: Then his disciples said to each other, 'Could someone have brought him food?'

John 4:33, ESV: So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?”

John 4:33, KJV: Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

John 4:33, NASB: So the disciples were saying to one another, 'No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?'

John 4:33, NLT: 'Did someone bring him food while we were gone?' the disciples asked each other.

John 4:33, CSB: The disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat? "

What does John 4:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Bible records many instances where Jesus' words are misinterpreted. Usually, this is by someone who is confused about Christ's use of physical symbols for spiritual ideas (John 3:3–4; John 5:10–11). This is not always an accident on Jesus' part, however. Scripture shows Jesus to be a master at asking questions which reveal a great deal about those who answer. Some of Christ's statements are vague, others are provocative. In all cases, how people respond to Jesus' remarks explains more about their intent than anything. Unfortunately for the disciples, they are still early in their travels with Jesus, so they are still easily confused when the conversation turns into a lesson.

One reason for the confusion of the disciples would have been the very territory they were in. Jews usually avoided Samaritans and Samaria. This is because Samaritans were seen as impure and unclean, both in terms of blood and religion. There would have been no reason to think other Jews were around. And, the normal practice was for Jews to refuse to use the same utensils as a Samaritan (John 4:9). If Jesus had been talking about physical food, it would have been a mystery from where or whom He'd gotten it.