The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)


Lesson 10

THE NOBLEMAN’S SON HEALED

(John 4:43-54)



INTRODUCTION:


1.     After two days in Samaria the Lord and His disciples continued on to Galilee (4:43).  John 4:44 says, “For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in His own country.”  This statement stands in stark contrast to the wonderful reception He received in Samaria (cf. 4:39-43).

2.     In the Synoptic Gospels this proverbial saying in 4:44 is applied to Nazareth (Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24), but here it seems to refer to Galilee as a whole.

3.     The only incident of this visit to Galilee recorded by John concerns the healing of the nobleman’s son – “the second miracle that Jesus did” in Galilee (4:54; cf. 4:46).

4.     This is an important story regarding the development of faith. 

I.     THE NOBLEMAN HAD FAITH TO FIRST APPROACH JESUS (4:46, 47).

II.  WHEN JESUS SAID HIS SON WAS HEALED, THE NOBLEMAN BELIEVED (4:50).

III.     WHEN THE NOBLEMAN GOT BACK HOME, HIS FAITH WAS EVEN STRONGER (4:51-53).

 

I.     HE HAD FAITH TO FIRST APPROACH JESUS (4:46, 47).

1.     News of our Lord’s miracle at the wedding feast had been circulating around Galilee, and so it is not surprising that this nobleman would seek out Jesus for help. 

2.     Furthermore, he had probably heard about our Lord’s miracles at the Passover feast in Jerusalem (cf. John 2:23; 4:45).  So this grief-stricken father decided to go and seek out Jesus.

3.     The trip from his home in Capernaum to Cana was approximately 25 miles (a great distance in those days), and so for this distraught father to go and ask Jesus for a miracle indicates he had faith (4:46, 47).

4.     We are not sure what kind of “nobleman” he was.  The Scofield Study Bible has in the margin, “courtier or ruler.” In other words, he may have been employed in the court of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee (called “King Herod” in Mark 6:14).

5.     Our Lord’s response is interesting (4:48).  He says to the nobleman, “Except ye (plural) see signs and wonders, ye (plural) will not believe” (4:48).  Who is our Lord referring to? 

6.     The Jews (cf. John 2:18)?  After all, this nobleman probably was a Jew.  There is nothing in the text to suggest he was a Gentile.

7.     Some Bible teachers believe our Lord was referring to Herod and all of his officials (4:48; cf. Luke 23:8).

8.     Another possibility: Our Lord was directing His remarks to the nobleman and all the passers-by that were nearby.

9.     You will recall that many people were saved in Samaria and our Lord performed no miracles there.

10.In any event, our Lord’s words are significant today with all of the attention given to “signs and wonders” in the charismatic movement.  The fastest growing churches throughout the world are Pentecostal and charismatic churches (cf. Matt. 24:23-25; II Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 13:11-18).

11.There are some genuine Christians mixed up in all of this confusion, but many are not saved and many are being deceived.  Watch out for Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, et al.

12.Also, the RCC puts much emphasis on visions of Mary, and crying statues, and other foolish nonsense.

13.Rather than taking umbrage at our Lord’s statement, the determined nobleman sincerely prays, “Sir, come down ere my child die” (4:49).

14.These are words of genuine faith, and this brings us to the next step in his development of faith.

 

II.     WHEN JESUS SAID HIS SON WAS HEALED, THE NOBLEMAN BELIEVED (4:50).

1.     Our Lord did not need to travel 25 miles to Capernaum to heal this dying boy.  Now the nobleman’s faith is being stretched.  It is one thing to believe that Jesus can heal his son if he goes to his home, but now he believes that Jesus can heal him from a great distance.

2.     This nobleman trusted Jesus.  Without obedience and trust there can be no real faith.  “Trust and obey; for there’s no other way – to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

3.     This nobleman trusted Jesus and he obeyed Jesus.  John 4:50 says, “And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way” (4:50).

4.     When I first got saved I used to think Romans 10:17 only applied to the unsaved – “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  Then after a while I began to realize that Romans 10:17 applies to Christians too.  Our faith needs to grow, and it grows as we learn more about God’s Word.

5.     Whenever I meet weak Christians who lack faith, the problem is always the same – they are not in the Word.  We need to read the Word, study the Word, and believe the Word.

6.     Furthermore, we must obey the Word.  The nobleman “went his way” (John 4:50).   “But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

 

III.     WHEN THE NOBLEMAN GOT BACK HOME, HIS FAITH WAS EVEN STRONGER (4:51-53).

1.    As the nobleman was heading home, he was met by servants who gave him the good news that his son was alive (4:51).

2.    Notice the words are identical to our Lord’s – “Thy son liveth” (4:51, 4:50; cf. 4:53).  This report did not surprise the nobleman for he had already believed Jesus.

3.    We should always rejoice when God answers our prayers but we should never be surprised.  When Bro. Knickerbocker was last here he gave me one of his prayer journals.  I started recording prayer requests and answered prayers. 

4.    My wife has been doing this for many years and it is a blessing.  George Muller did this and he recorded thousands of answered prayers (cf. John 15:7).

5.    After hearing that his son was doing better, the father asked when he began to recover (4:52), and was told, “Yesterday at the seventh hour” (1:00 PM).   This was the same hour that Jesus declared the boy healed (4:53).

6.    Some people have wondered why the nobleman stayed somewhere overnight, rather than hurrying on home to see his son.  The Bible does not tell us, but one thing is clear: this nobleman had faith and knew that when he got home everything was going to be all right.

7.    This wonderful miracle not only strengthened the nobleman’s faith, but 4:53 tells us “his whole house” now believed in Jesus.

8.    It is a blessing when a whole family gets saved (cf. Acts 16:31-34).

 

CONCLUSION:


1.     Do you have faith?  Are you saved?

2.     Christian, is your faith weak?



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