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John's disciples tell their master that Jesus, to whom he bare witness beyond the Jordan, was now baptizing, and that all were flocking to him. John tells them this should be so: "He must increase, but I must decrease.” I am but the earthly herald of the Christ; Jesus is the Christ from heaven. “He that cometh from heaven is above all” (John iii. 22-32).
The Pharisees, too, had had information that the baptized disciples of Jesus were more numerous even than those of John (John iv. 1), and Jesus, knowing that they had heard it, left Judæa, and again went to Galilee. “And he must needs pass through Samaria” (John iv. 4). And coming near a Samaritan city named Sychar, he sat on the edge of Jacob's wellwhile his disciples went in to the city to buy foodand conversed with a woman who came for water, revealing to her the fact of his Messiahship. He also told her it mattered not where God was worshipped, but only how, for “God is a Spirit : and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
This woman, on learning that Jesus was the Anointed, went into the city and told what had transpired. And many of the Samaritans believed on him, and returned with her, and pressed him to come into the city among them. He did so, and stayed there two days. And many more believed on him, and said to the woman (John iv. 42), “Now we believe, not because of thy speaking : for we have heard for
ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world.”
After the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee, and was received by those Galileans who had seen what he had done in Jerusalem. And coming to Cana, where he had effected the transformation of the water, he was applied to by a nobleman to cure his son, who was ill of a fever at Capernaum, and near death. Jesus said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe." But without going, he spoke the word, “Thy son liveth ;” and the father found, on inquiry, that the fever left his son at the precise time the words were spoken. He therefore, with all his family, believed on Jesus (i.e. in his Messiahship). This was the second Galilean miracle.
After this, Jesus went again to Jerusalem to another feast, and the Jews persecuted him because he had miraculously cured on the sabbath day a man who had been ill-palsied—for thirty-eight years. But Jesus replied, "My Father worketh even until now, and I work.” Then they wished to kill him, because he had not only broken the sabbath, but had represented himself as equal to God by calling God his own father. Not that he meant to do so, but such was their misapprehension of his meaning. Jesus showed them that equality with God was not implied in the idea of Sonship, for all the power the Son had was bestowed on him by the Father-power to work miracles, and to judge mankind, yea, and to raise the dead ; for “the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live" (John v. 25). But the Jews, only seeking honour from men, and not loving God, could not believe on the Son, though the evidence of his Messiahship so abounded. There was first, the evidence from prophecy, for Moses, in whom you believe, "wrote," said Jesus, "of me;" secondly, there was the distinct testimony of John the Baptist, in whose light for a time you rejoiced; and yet more than this, there is, in the third place, the proof that the Father has sent me before your eyes, in the miracles which, by his power, I work.
After this, Jesus went beyond the lake of Galilee, followed by vast numbers of people, because of the miracles he had wrought in healing the sick. (“Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand,” John vi. 4.) And here Jesus wrought the
mighty work" of multiplying the bread and fish (five barley loaves and two small fish), so that after satisfying the hunger of five thousand men, there were still left twelve baskets full of the broken victual.
This miracle had such an effect on them that they declared him the Messiah, and would perforce have made him king; but he, seeing this, left them, and went into a mountain alone. In the evening the disciples went down to the lake, and took a boat to sail across to Capernaum ; and as Jesus was not come, they sailed without him, and were a good way across when he came to them, walking on the water,
and having got into the boat, it immediately arrived at Capernaum. The next day some of the people from the other side of the lake came
to Capernaum to look for Jesus, and they asked him what they ought to do to work the works of God. Jesus' reply was (John vi. 29), “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” He also spoke of himself as the Bread of Life, given from heaven by God for the life of the world. Unless they ate the flesh of the Son of Man, and drank his blood, they could have no life in them. His flesh and blood, given for the life of the world, were truly meat and drink from heaven. And whoever saw the Son and believed on him should be raised up by him at the last day, and have everlasting life. He would not cast out one who thus came to him, for none could come unless taught of God to do so-drawn to him by the Father. This, and much more to the same effect, Jesus taught the Jews in the synagogue at Capernaum. But they understood him literally, and were much perplexed; and even many of his disciples, thinking they were actually required to feast on his flesh, said dejectedly to each other, “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?"
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and knew from the beginning who would and who would not truly believe, and who should betray him, and asked them if they were offended at what he had been teaching; what if they were to see him ascend to heaven, whence he came? As to the flesh, that profiteth nothing;
only spiritual food could feed the spirit, and his words (his teachings) were spirit and life.
But such doctrine they could not receive, as Jesus knew they had not the power given them by the Father thus to come to him, so many of his disciples from that day fell away from him. He then asked the twelve if they also would leave him. Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God” (John vi. 66–69).
Jesus told them, alluding to Judas Iscariot, that though he had chosen them, the twelve, he knew the faithlessness of one of them.
The Lord had not attended that Passover feast because the Jews sought to kill him, but it being now the feast of tabernacles, his brothers (who did not believe on him) reproached him for remaining in Galilee idle, such inaction being in their eyes inconsistent with his claims.
He, however, went up to Jerusalem afterwards alone, and taught publicly in the temple yard, the people being much divided in opinion respecting him, though it was not safe to speak openly in his favour, for fear of the Jews, who wanted to kill him. Yet the Jews came about him, and listened with astonishment, wondering how he could, without learning, have acquired his knowledge.
Jesus told them he was taught by God, and they, if they really wished to do God's will, would recognize