Summary: Belief is not a product of ’signs and wonders’ it is a product of faith.
STRATHMOOR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
A MATTER OF THE HEART
I. Are you confused yet? (You’re probably not alone -- if you’ve given up --
on tracking Jesus’ whereabouts.)
1. You aught to be confused -- because I have found that many commentators --
who study this stuff are very confused --
1) about where Jesus is coming from -- and going to.
2. There seems to be little consistency among commentators --
when talking about cities -- or regions. And often, their lack of a map --
leads to misgivings -- about the intent of the scriptural message. 1) One of the misgivings about this particular passage of scripture --
seems to be Jesus’ comment that a prophet has no honor --
in the prophet’s own country.
2) To help us get a handle on this problem --
I want to ask you to imagine in your mind today -- a very simple map.
1- Begin by imagining a rectangle -- on end –
2- then divide the rectangle horizontally -- into three equal parts.
1] The top section is the region called Galilee,
2] the middle section is the region called Samaria,
3] and the bottom section is the region called Judea.
3- In the top region there are three cities that are important to our story: 1] Nazareth is in Galilee;
2] Cana is in Galilee;
3] and Capernaum is in Galilee.
4- In the middle region there is one city that is important:
1] Sychar is in Samaria.
5- And in the bottom region there is one important city:
1] Jerusalem is in Judea.
II. With that in mind, let’s take the tour with Jesus -- over the last couple of chapters:
1. Jesus is at the festival in Jerusalem (the [bottom] region of Judea) --
when he decides to go to Galilee the top region.
1) To get to the ‘top region’ --
he must pass through the middle region (Samaria).
2) It is in the middle region -- that he stops on the outskirts of the town
know as Sychar and meets the women at the well --
we talked about two weeks ago.
1- He is then invited into the town of Sychar --
where he spends two days with the people of that town
2- (and many of them become believers).
2. After the two days, Jesus left the middle region --
and went to the (top of your rectangle) -- region of Galilee.
1) When Jesus first arrived in Galilee -- we don’t know --
what town He went to -- because the text does not say.
2) What we do know -- is that Nazareth is in the region of Galilee.
1- And, if you take a real map of the region --
and you drew a straight life from Sychar to Cana
1] (where we know Jesus is headed)
2- you will find that that line -- passes right by --
the western side of Nazareth.
1] Since roads are not straight lines -- and since
there are no other major cities between Sychar and Nazareth --
it is highly likely that the road went through Nazaraeth.
3- So, we know that Jesus is in his own country,
we know from the text that the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem –
at the festival, for they too had gone to the festival.
4- And we know, that John, (the author of this gospel,) –
wanted to remind us -- that Jesus himself had said --
that a prophet has no honor --
in the prophet’s own country.
3. Now, some see a problem here.
1) If Jesus is being welcomed by the Galileans, --
how can Jesus say -- that He is without honor?
2) I think, -- the answer to that question -- is the point of this passage:
4. You see honor is not the willingness to observe.
1) These people are here because -- of the things they have seen --
or heard about Jesus --
1- They are curiosity seekers -- not believers.
1] They may have heard John the Baptist’s witness about Jesus. 2] They have heard the stories -- from Jesus’ last visit to Galilee
when Nathaniel became convinced --
that Jesus was the Son of God.
3] They may have seen Jesus turn over the tables --
at the festival in Jerusalem.
4] They surly heard the rumors -- that came out of Cana --
when He turned the water into wine.
2- They are here for the same reason -- that you go to a carnival --
to watch the rubber man twist himself into a knot --
or the snake lady shed her skin.