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The Scriptorium


Some people want to receive Jesus, but not.

The Gospel of John: John 4.43-54

Read and meditate on John 4.45.
John had previously held out receiving Jesus as something greatly to be desired (1.12). Here the Galileans are said to have received Him, but Jesus knew they were not honoring Him as He deserved. Hmmm.

                45When He reached the town
in Galilee which was His home, then all
the Galileans welcomed Him, who saw
the things He’d done back in Jerusalem,
there at the feast, for they were there with Him.

- John 4.45

1.  In John 1.12, the Greek verb John uses, and which is translated receive, is lambano, and means something like to receive by taking hold and grasping firmly. What does this suggest about the thing received? About the one receiving it? Why is this a good way to think about receiving Jesus? Complete this prayer: Lord, help me to hold on to You today as I…

2.  The word John uses in our text, which the NKJV translates “received,” is a bit weaker action of receiving, and its focus is more on the one who receives than what is received (dechomai). What does this suggest about the thing received, and the one receiving it? Do people “receive” Jesus in this way? Is this what Jesus seeks? Explain. I’ll know I’m honoring You today, Lord, when…

3.  We’re not sure what the “all things” were that these people had seen Jesus do in Jerusalem, but they probably included at least the cleansing of the temple. Does this suggest anything about how they might have received Jesus, as He returned to His home area? Lord, I know You are not Jesus Christ, Superhero, so…

4.  We recall that Galilee was known in its day as “Galilee of the Gentiles,” because it bordered and trafficked with Gentile lands. Jesus did His first miracle here, and He was about to do another. Is there a message for the people of His day in Jesus’ choice of venues for these early miracles? Explain. Lord, show Yourself through me today as I…

5.  What seems to have been Jesus’ primary purpose for this brief return to His home area? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you wrote from questions 1-4.

“Do you see that the people who have the worst things spoken about them are the ones found most often coming to him? For one said, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Another said, ‘Search and look, for out of Galilee arises no prophet.’ They said these things as an insult to him, because many people thought he was from Nazareth. They also reproached him with being a Samaritan; ‘You are a Samaritan,’ said one, ‘and have a devil.’ Yet behold, both Samaritans and Galileans believe, to the shame of the Jews, and Samaritans are found better than Galileans, for the first received him through the words of the woman, the second received him when they had seen the miracles that he did.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

People receive Jesus for various reasons, and at various levels of reception, and even at various times in their lives. My sense is that receiving Jesus, even for selfish reasons, is at least a start in coming to know Him. Do you think Jesus felt that way? Do you?

Closing Prayer
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psalm 40.1-4

Psalm 40.1-8 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
I waited patiently for God; He inclined and heard my cry,
Lifted me up above the sod, set me on a Rock on high!
New songs in my mouth He gave; may He through me many save.

Blessed are all who trust in You, turning both from lies and pride.
Countless wonders, Lord, You do, and Your thoughts with us abide.
Lord, who can Your worth declare? None with You can e’er compare.

Off’rings You do not require – open now my ears, O Lord –
What from me do You desire? Firm delight to do Your Word.
Take my life in ev’ry part; write Your Law upon my heart.

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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