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Harmony of the gospels

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Some harmonies have verses 43- 44 in a separate section but it appears to fit here better and thus is included in this section.

43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
We now move to the third section of this chapter, the welcome in Galilee, which was the wild west of Palestine. The Galileans really liked what the Lord had done to the religious mafia of Jerusalem. He cleansed the Temple and dealt with the crooks. They hated religious humbug and welcomed Him as a folk hero, but their thinking wasn't spiritual. That attitude however opened them to the gospel. They would hear, and they would be judged by their response.
"A prophet has no honour in his own country". This place was called in the Lord's day, "Galilee of the Gentiles", as the country was more Gentile than Jewish. They saw his actions as the small town man standing up to the big town crooks, and they loved it. They were ready to hear more.
The word idios translated own originated in the first democracy of Athens where all the population were invited to participate in discussion and voting. A person who did not participate was called idios from which we get our English word idiot.
45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
The locals receive him with respect and listen to his words, for they had seen his work at the festival in Jerusalem. Although not mentioned here he was very active in the synagogues of the Galilee, being welcomed and heard by all, although not accepted by all as Messiah, for his message at this point was like John's, one of repentance. Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:14, 15, Luke 4: 14, 15.
When we made an issue of Messiahship, and clearly claimed to be Messiah he was reviled by the same people who welcomed him initially. Refer to Luke 4:16-31, to read about his first rejection at Nazareth. While the Jewish crowd are fickle there is a noble man whose son was dying in Capernaum, and he is stable and sees the truth about the Lord. The nobleman asked Jesus to come down to heal his son. This meeting took place in Cana where He had turned the water into wine.
Now Galilee was ruled over by Herod Antipas, who was very pro-Gentile and so this nobleman may be Greek or Roman. The territory was a tetrarchy (Herod being appointed a tetrarch by Rome) with its capital in Tiberias. It was at this time an administratively different area of the Empire to Judea.
46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
The nobleman immediately walks 15 miles. You have the power to heal my son he says, please come and do it. This is real practical faith; this is a man used to assessing situations and making decisions, and he has no doubts about Jesus power and ability.
This man becomes another character that the apostle John focuses on to make a point about the work of the Lord upon people.
There are three types of people who the Lord has dealt with to date,

[a] Nicodemus, the best of the Jews,

[b] The Samaritan woman, the "worst" (or best, most prepared) of the Samaritans and

[c] Here you have the best of the Gentiles.

The outstanding first miracle of turning water into wine would still be remembered in Cana and would indicate that Jesus had some friends there. The nobleman “basilikos” is probably connected with the tetrarch or local king (basileus), whether by blood or by office. Probably here it is one of the courtiers of Herod the tetrarch of Galilee.

The Imperfect tense of astheneō shows that the son was continually sick.

In verse 47 we see from verb analysis that having heard that Jesus was now present in Cana he went to him and kept on asking Him to come down to heal his son who was constantly at the point of death. This is obviously a desperate situation for the father of the sick boy.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
The statement, "except ye see signs and wonders you will not believe", is addressed to the Jews not to the man, as this man already believes.
The crowd are hungry for a miracle whilst the nobleman just wants to get his son healed. Jesus is not discounting His “signs and wonders”, though he does seem disappointed that he is in Galilee regarded as a mere miracle worker.
The Lord loves this man and his honesty as he has come boldly to the throne of grace. James 1:6-8, Hebrew 4:16. His prayer is going to be answered.
The man says to Him, "Sir, come down", I do not need to be convinced. The man is focused on his goal and is not distracted by theological debate, his sole concern is the life of his child. It is noted that his son is young by the fact that paidion is used to describe him in this passage.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
This is a challenge to the man's faith as the Lord tells him to go indicating to him that his son lives; that is, his son has been healed already. The man believed the word that Jesus has said and went his way. This man shows his faith by going home. Faith always must be put into shoe leather and expressed.
Here we see that the nobleman believed in a point of time and immediately kept on going home as shown by the imperfect tense of “poreuomai” which is in the middle voice showing that he benefited by leaving the Lord being fully confident that what Jesus Christ had said was true.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
Somewhere along the road the ruler meets his servants coming to meet him and they tell him his son is alive and getting better. He asks when it happened and found that it was at the very time the Lord had said that his son would recover. As a result his household believed in Jesus.
We notice that when he met the servants they told him that the healing took place yesterday a 1 pm. The distance from Cana to Capernaum was about a four hour walk so he could have been hope in the early evening. The fact that he did not meet with his servants until the next day indicates that the nobleman truly believed that his son was healed and was relaxed about his situation not running back to his home to check the child’s status.
He heard, he believed and applied it in his life, with the result that his whole family was led to saving faith in Jesus. He realises that the Messiah for Israel is for the Gentiles as well.
John points out that this is the second miracle in Cana of Galilee. Here he says that these miracles are being done outside Israel in Cana of the Gentiles. The Jews have rejected and therefore the miracles are going to the Gentiles.
John says that this message cannot be considered to be exclusive for the Jews. You race or gender is not important to the Lord but your attitude to the Lord is. There is a movement away from Judea to the world. The Jewish rejection is going to open the door to the Gentiles.

Faith is trusting yourself completely to the object of faith. There is no merit in faith; the merit is always in the object you have faith in. You cannot save yourself by your faith; you are saved because you have trusted in the right object for salvation. All glory is to the Lord Jesus Christ and not to yourself.
In Jude we have seen the building up of the person by feeding on the Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit. We also saw that the application of God's Word to our lives, is by being occupied with Christ and looking at everything in the light of the Second coming.
Faith starts by casting yourself on Him and the Christian life continues by walking with Him, and looking to him for everything.
Salvation will be shown in action. For instance you can know that a bridge is safe from its engineering specification, you can believe it but unless you cross over it you have not used your faith and the belief has therefore not been effective.
Saving faith commits the person with it to action. Satan knows that Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind. You can believe that Jesus did that but then it must be applied to your life. The faith that saves sanctifies.
Works do not save us, but the faith that saves works out in the life that is saved. The sinners who need a Saviour cast themselves down before Him. Are you on your knees in front of the Saviour or are you in the pews discussing theology?
The demons believe and they tremble. What are you doing? This passage challenges us to join Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, and the gentile ruler in living faith that works out into our lives.
In Jude 20 and 21 it is our job to strengthen ourselves in our faith. At every point in our life we should keep on believing in the Lord.
In 1 John 5:4-5 we have the victory of our faith as the overcomer. As an overcomer we are not only on the winning team but we have that victorious mental attitude whatever situation we are in.
This man believes that the Lord can save his son and believes what He says is true and he goes.

1. All believers are ambassadors for Christ, and are obliged to give the give the gospel to unbelievers. (Acts 1:8, 2 Timothy 4:5)
2. Two forms of witnessing - with the lips (2 Corinthians 5:18-21 and by the life (2 Corinthians 3:3)
3. The gospel is "good news".
4. Sin is not an issue. Jesus died for all sin on the cross. The penalty has been paid. The issue now is "Do you trust that Jesus Christ has died for your sins, and was raised from the dead to give life to all who believe on Him?" People choose to either rely upon Jesus Christ, or upon their own good works, to be saved. (Romans 8:1, 9-30-33)
5. What about the heathen who haven't heard?

a) God is totally fair, and everyone has the chance to be saved

b) Unlimited Atonement (Colossians 2:14, 15)

c) God's will - none should perish (2 Peter 3:9)

d) Man's negative will - God consciousness - Gospel hearing.
6. Witnessing is impossible except through the power of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:8-13) The Holy Spirit convicts of

a) Sin because of unbelief.

b) Righteousness.

c) Judgement because of Satan being judged (Matthew 25:41)

7. The natural man needs the Holy Spirit to understand the gospel (1 Corinthians 2:14)
8. The Bible is the weapon of witnessing. (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4)
9. Biblical Pattern of Witnessing. (1 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

a) Effective contact (v.1)

b) The gospel must be given even under opposition. (v.2)

c) The gospel must never be compromised or watered down - (v.3)

d) The believer in whom the gospel is deposited is tested by God and should not be for the praise of man. (v.4)

e) Flattery should never be part of the gospel. (v.5-6)

f) Whilst the gospel should not be given to get praise from men it should be given in love without cost (v9)

g) The gospel must be followed up (v 10) with discipleship and teaching (v11) so that the new believer can become spiritually self reliant. (v.10-12)

10. Your obligation to witness (Romans 1:14-16): you are a debtor (v14), you are ready (v15), you are not ashamed (v16)
11. Win souls, not arguments. Stay on the gospel, don't get side-tracked.
We are fishers of men Matthew 4:19
1. A fisherman needs to be prepared and equipped to do the task. You need to be walking in the Spirit and you need to know the gospel. We need to be prepared in knowledge and power. Quite often you need to be trained.
2. The fishermen go to where the fish are. As a believer you must be in contact with unbelievers so that you can individually target them. This is why monasticism is wrong.
3. Fishermen are patient. They wait. They know the fish are there but they wait until the right time to cast the bait. You do not waste your bait but walk under the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that when you recognise that someone is under the conviction of the Holy Spirit you can fish successfully. You work with unbelievers and look for an opportunity provided by the Holy Spirit to give the gospel.
You do not give them the gospel when they are five kilometres away. Ignorant Christians are blurting out the gospel to unbelievers who have not been prepared and consequently are disturbing the fish. They are not sensitive; they are not waiting seeing what the Spirit is doing. In Acts the people who were being added to the church were those who were being saved by the work of the Holy Spirit.
4. Fishermen know what bait to use and the different approaches to catch all sorts of fish. You do not have the same bait for all fish. Paul for instance gave a different message in Athens compared to what he gave in Philippi. This is the danger of having just one tract in your pocket as it constrains you in your approach. You have to be flexible and know where the people are so that it will be meaningful to them and meet them where they are. Paul in Acts 16 is talking to philosophers so he comes in at a different level than in other cases.
5. Fishermen concentrate on fish and not the fishpond. You are to fish for fish and not try and clean the fishpond. We should be concerned with the souls of men and not cleaning up the environment. 1 Peter 1:17, Ephesians 5:16, Colossians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 9:22
1. The pastor of the local church must practice a Bible saturated, spirit controlled life. By his systematic teaching of the Word he must encourage people to apply it in their life. The vessels that the Lord uses must be clean.
2. You must have a co ordinated prayer life in the Church. This consists of the mid week prayer meeting and organising your prayer warriors. You need specific weekly prayer sheets.
3. You need to have weekly meetings with your deacons and elders to plan strategies for the church. You need to have that for a prayer plan for the week. It is good to have this on Sunday morning over breakfast so that the prayer points can be noted down and duplicated by the pastor for the morning service. This gives current material. You plan your visitations, your speakers and how it can be co ordinated in with the overall preaching plan. There also needs to be a home fellowship strategy and a strategy for the Bible class and Sunday School.
4. In the preaching everything must tie into the evangelistic, witness function of the church. He must emphasise that they are ambassadors and evangelists.
5. The minister encourages the people to find the fish. Every week they should be reminded of their work in this area.
6. Every believer should have his own list of people who he is praying constantly for. He should have a list of ten unbelievers and as one is converted a new name should be emplaced on the list.
7. The church contacts should be followed up as part of the strategy. This is the importance of a Sunday School. The Sunday School should be well known in the area. The unbelieving parents who send their children to Sunday School should be followed up by the minister to show friendliness towards them. You may be their only Christian contact.
8. There needs to be a church service follow up. Every visitor should be made to feel welcome but not embarrassed. Never ask a visitor to stand up. After the service have a coffee time and a special room set aside for visitors. It is an advantage to have a service which finishes a bit earlier. The minister follows up the visitors and lets an elder go on the door.
9. Organise visitation and be visible with walking through districts and greeting those you meet. This is far better than driving and parking. The morning should be in the study. Have a meal at home to have time with your wife or family, after lunch visitation. With walking you get exercise and are away from the phone. Plan to visit three or four locations only. Drive to a central location and walk. If you are seen on the street people get to know. You have raised the profile of the church. You are swimming in the sea with the fish. Sit down with street kids, help an old lady. The church needs to draw on the local area. You need to be decently dressed but not suit and tie.
1. The Christian life can be divided into three sections or stages.

a) Stage 1 - Salvation.

b) Stage 2 - The Christian Walk

c) Stage 3 - The Christian in Heaven.

2. Man has three means of obtaining knowledge:

a) Faith - to believe or trust that something is true

b) Reasoning - using human logic to deduce that something is true

c) Experimentation - to test and prove something to satisfy yourself that it is true

3. The only acceptable method of gaining grace is by faith, since this means depending upon God without our human merit.

a) Stage 1 - Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved - salvation (Acts 16:31).

b) Stage 2 - Trusting in the promises and principles of the Word of God - the Christian walk.

c) Stage 3 - Trusting in God's provision - Heaven.

4. To illustrate belief and unbelief we follow the Jews from the plagues in Egypt to crossing the Jordan:


God’s Promise




Last plague

Passover Lamb

Exodus 12:21-30


Jews spared last plague.

Egyptian Army

Red Sea Crossing

Exodus 14:1-31


Moses leads Jews over Red Sea.

No Water


Exodus 17:1-7


By striking rock (Christ) water obtained.

Gold Calf

God's Doctrine

Exodus 32:15-28


Sons of Levi (Priests) slaughtered for leading



Num 11:10-33


Many deaths due to quails


Enter Canaan

Num 13:1-14:38


Death of fearful spies. Wandering in desert

No water


Num 20:2-13


Moses strikes rock in disobedience. Will not enter Promised Land.


Cross Jordan

Joshua 3:1-17


Israel crosses Jordan on dry ground

5. Salvation faith is the complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for your sins and rose from the dead to give you eternal life. (Acts 16:31, Romans 4:20-25)

6. Anything added to becomes works, and therefore nullifies faith (Romans 4:4)
7. Faith is shown outwardly by confession with the mouth. (Romans 10:9-10)
8. Since faith does not depend on our own abilities, anybody can believe. Even little children (Matthew 18:2-4)
9. Assurance is by faith (Hebrews 10:22)
10. Faith is trust which does not ask to know all about God but believe all that God has said.
11. Salvation faith receives Christ as Saviour and Lord. (John 1:12, 3:16, 3:36)
12. Faith of salvation is the complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as having been delivered from our transgressions and raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:20-25)
13. By Faith God gives the soul assurance of the reality of things never yet seen by the natural man. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
14. The triumphs of faith in daily life are illustrated for the believer in Hebrews 11:1-39. Abel, Noah, Moses etc.
15. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)
16. Faith is the only non meritorious means of understanding things the other being rationalism and empiricism.
17. To become like a little child is an analogy to faith as a young child only has faith. (Matthew 18:2-4)
1. Definition of an overcomer - "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4, 5) It is seen that an overcomer is a believer and we become overcomers at the point of salvation.
2. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" - believers will live with God in heaven forever. (Revelation 2:7)
3. "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death" - believers will not be subject to the lake of fire. (Revelation 2:11)
4. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it" - believers are accepted by God on the basis of His provision. (Revelation 2:17)
5. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star" - believers will rule over the nations and will be honoured. (Revelation 2:26-28)
6. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels" - believers are justified and sanctified by the death of our Lord and their names are permanently in the book of the living. (Revelation 3:5)
7. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name" - believers will have access to the Holy Places of God and will eternally be identified with Jesus Christ. (Revelation 3:12)
8. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" - believers will reign with the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:21)
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