Jesus, about to go through Samaria after Baptismal Ministry in Judea

Posted by Yong Joo Park on 1 January 2023 in Ezekiel, John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, The Book of Romans |

John 4:1-4 [1]

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptising more disciples than John—although in fact it was not Jesus who baptised, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria.

I. Water Baptism by the Disciples of Jesus (1-2)

The Pharisees are those who were sent to question Baptist John about his baptism in John 1:24-25. Now they heard of Jesus’ baptism (1).

Passages such as Ezekiel 36:25 and Ezekiel 37:23 let the Jews expect a cleansing of the people [2]. Baptism is related to cleansing and this cleansing would be the role of the Messiah (=the Prophet) or his forerunner (e.g., Elijah) [3] (See John 1:25). So, it is no surprise that Jesus the Messiah incorporated baptism (1, John 3:22, John 3:26). Even so, the fact that Jesus was gaining and baptising more disciples than John (1) was a conflict of interest to them. The reason they handed Jesus over to crucify was self-interest (Matthew 27:18, Mark 15:10). Jesus taught in Matthew 6:24, “…You cannot serve both God and Money.” If their position and popularity were important to them more than God’s will and His commands, they are not serving God but something else expressed as ‘Money’ in Matthew 6:24. Such people suppress the truth by their wickedness, causing the wrath of God (Romans 1:18).

V2 clarifies that this water baptism in v1 was performed not by Jesus but by the disciples of Jesus. This may correct the possible wrong impression that Jesus is a merely baptising prophet parallel to John the Baptist [4].

II. Journey back to Galilee via Samaria (3-4)

Jesus left Judea for a reason written in v1. But it was not simply due to the situational pressure from the conflict of interest among the Pharisees. The Bible tells us that Jesus had power and control (Matthew 26:53) to confront but he purposefully chose to obey and fulfil God’s will (Matthew 26:54). So, we can know his leaving Judea, going back to Galilee (3) via Samaria (4) was decided according to God’s will and direction (John 5:19).

Other verses that show the withdrawal are Matthew 12:15, Mark 3:7 and Luke 5:16 [4].


  1. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Anglicised. Revised and updated. ed. 2011: London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  2. Lenski, R.C.H., The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel. Logos Research Edition ed. 1961, Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House.
  3. Park, Y. Baptist John Baptises them with Water as the forerunner of the Messiah. 1/1/2023]; Available from:
  4. Borchert, G.L., The New American Commentary: John 1-11. 1996: Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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