John 4:44 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:44, NIV: "(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)"

John 4:44, ESV: "(For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.)"

John 4:44, KJV: "For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country."

John 4:44, NASB: "For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country."

John 4:44, NLT: "He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown."

John 4:44, CSB: "(Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)"

What does John 4:44 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse seems an odd statement to add to this story. The comment about a prophet's lack of honor from his hometown is something other gospels record from Jesus as well (Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24). Most English translations place these words in parentheses, since it clearly appears to be a side-note. But the connection to this story is not immediately clear.

Jesus is travelling from Judea into Galilee (John 4:3), after spending two days teaching the Samaritans of Sychar (John 4:40). Verse 43 mentions His departure, and verse 45 refers to His arrival. But the upcoming events don't seem to indicate much rejection. In fact, verse 45 says He was welcomed. When Jesus has His next confrontation, it will be with the Pharisees in Jerusalem as recorded in John chapter 4. All of this raises the question of what John means by this remark, and why he included it in this place in his gospel.

Scholars offer several ideas. The most reasonable is that Jesus is returning to the region of Galilee, but not to His local hometown of Nazareth. Verse 46 says that Jesus returned to the town of Cana, where He had performed His first miracle (John 2:11). Nazareth, however, is closer to Sychar than Cana—Jesus would have passed right by it. Once Jesus arrived in Cana, He was there long enough for a local official to hear about His arrival, and make a journey to see Him (John 4:47). Cana and Capernaum are about 25 miles apart, so this was not a short time.

This would put John's remark about a prophet's honor in context. Jesus is going to Galilee, the region, but bypasses His hometown of Nazareth, since the people there have no particular interest in His message.