When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 he left Judæa, and departed again into Galilee.John 4:1-2
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,Mark 1:14
Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;Matthew 4:12
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.Luke 4:14
Just a few months prior, Jesus had boldly entered Jerusalem and purged the temple. Now, He is quickly leaving Jerusalem to return to Galilee.
Was Jesus afraid for His life? Did He feel He needed to retreat and regroup because John was now in prison? Did Jesus fail at His ministry in Judea?
The answer to all these questions is “NO”.
Jesus was not afraid for His life. He said Himself,
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.John 10:18
The Lord’s church is built on the Rock which is Jesus Christ.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.Matthew 16:18
The Lord Jesus Christ does not fight from a defensive position!
Jesus is the Son of God and has all power. He never “tried” anything. Being God, Jesus DID things.
So why did He leave so quickly?
I think it is because He was not ready to reveal Himself fully to the Jews at Jerusalem. He had many things that He wanted to finish before He went to the cross. Among those “things,” we find the conversation of a host of Samaritans in the very next verses of John’s gospel!
Had He shown Himself fully as the Messiah this soon, the Pharisees and others would have escalated their attacks on Him more quickly. His time to be offered up had not yet come, so He withdrew.
Jesus was not afraid, nor defeated, nor did He fail.
Jesus came with purpose to this world and He “fully-filled” the job His Father gave Him to do. And He did it in a mighty way!