John 4.43-45

When the two days were over he set out for Galilee; for Jesus himself declared that a prophet is without honor in his own country.

On his arrival in Galilee, the Galileans gave him a welcome, because they had seen all that he did at the festival in Jerusalem; they had been at the festival themselves.

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7 responses

  1. "a prophet without honor in his own country" could be envisioned as the spirit of being going unrecognized as the true self, in a material world that sees us as physical bodies (plus spirit) instead of spiritual beings inhabiting bodies.on his arrival (= awakening?) we can sense ourselves as spirit born and can start to see it every time we turn around, now that we know (or remember) it.

  2. Well, I can see reading it that way. Because, taken as a description of something that happened concretely, it's a total inconsistency between what he says and what happens!In the historical end of things, though, it's extremely likely that Jesus did say this; the quote goes all the way back to Mark.And the context… My wife said once, "If you're expecting something from another person, something that you can only expect to get from God, you're likely to end up hating them!"In the synoptic stories, Jesus goes off and sees John the Baptist, comes home after what I (& Robert Graves, & a few other people drawing similar conclusions) consider to have been his "anointment," not just a "baptism."About the time Jesus was born, the Romans passed through his home town on a massive punitive expedition–looting, burning–and raping. (That Talmudic legend that he'd been the son of a Roman soldier? A lot of strange, garbled stuff in those stories, but it would explain a lot.) They crucified around 2,000 Jews along the nearest road. The suffering that his neighbors went through in peacetime–was far more than some dreamy nationalistic yearning for political independence; farmers were losing their farms to foreign commercial lending-&-land-use practice, ending up living non-idyllic (& short) lives as daylaborers, where one injury (& inadequate diet) could put them dying of hunger by somebody's doormat, as in the Dives and Lazarus story.Jesus comes home to his village, with followers & some heavy mana, and people are wondering "Is this God's answer to our troubles?" And the answer, for a lot of people who knew him, was "Isn't this just Josh the carpenter's son? (Or even "Mary's son," a big insult around a Middle Eastern village…)There could be some real ill-feeling around the mix of expectations and ANY circumstance that might discredit him in somebody's eyes…

  3. So we've got this saying… based on the occasion when he first started doing his work in his (tiny) home village. In the (often implausible) chronology here, he has since then gone to Jerusalem, stirred up sufficient fuss to get himself killed on the spot, and is now returning to his home (larger geographical region) country, where his interpretation of Torah is the norm & his resulting stands are popular.So on your way of interpretation… seeing this as a description of events within individual people… 'We've been afraid to trust our spiritual nature, but we become better able to do it when we see the results'?

  4. Why does it emphasize that Jesus set out for Galilee on the third day ("after the two days were over")?Numbers are very important in Jewish thinking, the number 3 usually having to do with "completeness" or "perfection."Why does he set out for his own country, the Galilee when he knows he is without honor there?Also, this is in contrast to where he was just welcomed in the previous verses, the land of the Samaritans (heretics and "half-breeds").Yet at first, contrary to his expectation, his people the Galileans welcome him.Much irony in this considering that at another time, some try to throw him off a cliff near Nazareth.DanielThere is much to chew on in these short verses!

  5. Sometimes numbers are important and sometimes they're idioms (as in English, "a week" may mean precisely 7 days but probably doesn't.)His people the Nazareans tried to throw him off the cliff. He didn't have to overcome that childhood village rep with his people the Galileans; that's the whole surrounding region, and being from there just puts him in tune with their needs.

  6. This has got to be one of the most quoted verses in my family because it is so true in our experience. A prophet is never appreciated in his (or her) own country. Since this appears in the Johannine gospel, a very Hellenistic text, I have to wonder if it helps explain the deification of Jesus of Nazareth (or if you prefer, the recognition of Christ's divinity) among Gentiles while most Jewish folks remained Jewish. It may be a self-conscious comment on the historical divergence of the Jesus Movement from the Jewish faith out of which it emerged.The passage also points to something that I've noticed in many progressive settings. When people are feeling unsettled and longing for a deeper truth in their lives, they seem quite attribute wisdom to those whose teaching seems exotic. Western people look to eastern and aboriginal traditions to find truths they feel can't be found in their own culture. Far too often they fail to adequately understand the cultural context and history of the spiritual tradition they adopt as their own. Often, they unconsciously alter the original teachings as they view them through a western cultural perspective. Hellenistic Christianity is a different tradition than the Jewish Christianity first emerging out of Palestine. American Tibetan Buddhism is not necessarily the same Buddhism practiced in Tibet. Not that they have to be. I just think it helps to be aware of it.

  7. > explain the deification of Jesus of Nazareth (or if you prefer, the recognition of Christ's divinity) among Gentiles while most Jewish folks remained Jewish.<This seems consistent with the meaning of Nazarene as a spiritual pathfinder (toward resurrection) and Galilee now as another step forward on that path.To me, it even fits in with the story about the attempt to throw him off a cliff, since paths are never smooth.

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