When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
By a singular fate this authentic and expressive memorial of the earliest dawn of Jewish history became the memorial no less authentic and expressive of its sacred close. Of all the special localities of our Lord's life in Palestine, this is almost the only one absolutely undisputed. By the edge of the well, in the touching language of the ancient hymn, "Quoereus me, sedisti lassus." Here He halted, as travellers still halt, in the noon or evening of the day. Up that valley His disciples "went away into the city." Down the same gorge came the woman to draw water, according to the unchanged custom of the East; which still, in the lively concourse of veiled figures round the wayside wells, reproduce the image of Rebekah, and Rachel, and Zipporah. Above them, as they talked, rose "this mountain" of Gerizim, crowned by the Temple, of which vestiges still remain, where the Samaritan sect "said men ought to worship," and to which still, after so many centuries, their descendants turn as to the only sacred spot in the universe: the strongest example of local worship in the world, where the sacredness of local worship was declared to be at an end. And round about them spread far and wide the noble plain of waving corn. It was still winter or early spring, "four months yet to the harvest;" and the bright golden ears had not yet "whitened" their unbroken expanse of verdure. He gazed upon them; and we almost seem to see how the glorious vision of the Gentile world, with each successive turn in the conversation, unfolded itself more and more distinctly before Him, as He sate absorbed in the opening prospect, silent amidst His silent and astonished disciples.
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,