Study of John 4:43-54
This week we are going to study John 4:43-54. So let’s read the passage, “After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.” John 4:43-54
The Danger of Complacency
In this passage, we see that Jesus departed from Samaria to Cana in Galilee where He had performed His first miracle turning water into wine. We see that the Galileans were there in Jerusalem when Jesus was performing miracles at the feast, so when they heard He was coming they came out and welcomed Him. They wanted Him to do miracles in Galilee as He had done in Jerusalem. The Bible reminds us that Jesus said, His hometown would not honor Him. The reason is that the people could not think of Jesus as any more than the child they grew up with. That is one thing that many people who have attended church for most or all of our lives struggle with. We too often go to church or to our quiet time with an attitude of having to or because we always have and so we keep doing it out of habit. We should remember that we have the privilege of meeting with the King Of The Universe, the One who creates everything and holds everything together. We get to be a part of what the angels seek to look into (1 Peter 1:12). But we so often neglect our relationship with Jesus and make it a small thing in our lives.
The Official’s Request
The passage then goes on to tell us that there was an official from Capernaum that heard that Jesus was in Galilee. His son was ill and at the point of death, so he came down and asked Jesus to heal his son. We can do the same today. We can come boldly, but humble to Jesus and ask Him for our needs and tell Him the things that are in our hearts. Jesus responded to the official, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” Jesus would later say, “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign” (Matthew 16:4 worth reading in its entirety and pondering). This was not someone who was just seeking a sign, he needed his son healed. He would not believe without a sign, but this was someone probably seeking out any and all ways of keeping his son alive. Jesus knew this and saw the way the official took the rebuke. The way he did not turn away, offended that he had been rebuked by a Man who was below his worldly wealth and authority class. This shows that the official was aware that the Man he spoke to had more authority than he did. It is not clear whether he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, but he obviously believed that He had the power to heal his son. Maybe he thought he was a prophet like the Jews were always talking about. The official, realizing this, asked Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” We see that he believed that Jesus could heal his son and was willing to humble himself and come ask for his son’s life.
It is the same today, we cannot send anyone else as our spiritual representative or to intercede for us. Jesus is our mediator and He is the only one who can intercede for us (1 Timothy 2:5). I think too many want the church to intercede for them and to grow their relationship with Jesus. Going once a week to hear a sermon and maybe praying and hoping that will nourish their relationship for the week all the while living the rest of the time not giving God another thought. There are so many reasons why this will not work. The first is that no man or group of men can nourish your relationship with Him. Don’t get me wrong, others in the church can intercede on your behalf and others can definitely help build up your faith, but God wants us to come boldly to His throne ourselves and commune with Him, not just always having someone else lead us. Have you ever had a friend who has another friend that is always with them when you see them, but that friend has no interest in being friends with you? I think that is what it’s like to just come to God through your pastor and church. God wants you to thank Him for all He has done and is doing for you, tell Him your needs, the anxieties of your hearts, worship Him, and have your own relationship that does not revolve around another person (Hebrews 4:16, 1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 7:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). The second is that if you only eat once a week you would not be very healthy, even if it was a thanksgiving feast or a meal perfectly prepared to pack the most nutrients into a single meal, it is the same way in our relationship with Jesus. If you would like to grow in your relationship with Him you need to place yourself where you can grow closer to Jesus by getting in His Word (the Bible) and communicating with Him in prayer. The Bible tells us that all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It also tells us to Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded (James 4:8). These are not the only ways to grow your relationship with God, but these are a few that the scripture prescribes.
We also see in the official’s response that he thinks two things about Jesus’ power. The first is that once his son dies there is nothing Jesus can do. The second is that the official thought that Jesus’ power was limited by distance and to heal his son Jesus had to go to his son. Neither one of these are true of Jesus’ power. I think too often we do the same thing: we put Jesus in a box thinking He is powerless in certain areas of our lives. We may not say it, but we think it and sometimes even believe it. Because it is so hard for us to comprehend that God is truly limitless, not bound by the same things we are bound by. He created time, space, and distance, so He is not bound by them (Matthew 19:26, Genesis 1:1-31, 2 Peter 3:8). The other things that bind us are the results of the fall, that were not in His original plan for the world (Genesis 3, 11:1-9). Our God is truly limitless and that is a beautiful thing. Yet it is a little scary because I can not even start to understand or even imagine what it feels like to live forever and to “physically” be with God in heaven (Titus 1:2, John 14:6). But then I remember who He is and the promise He has made and that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and I am no longer afraid, but in awe of His majesty (Hebrews 13:8).
Father And Son Get Life
Jesus then tells the official to go, your son will live. He believed Jesus’ words and as He traveled he met his servants they told him that his son had recovered trying to relieve their master’s anxiety because they did not realize that Jesus had already done that. He asked his servants when his son started to recover and they told him that it was the exact hour that Jesus had said his son would recover and so he and his entire household believed. That day not only did his son get to live, but the father also got the gift of eternal life from Jesus, along with his entire household. Today God wants to do the same thing, He wants to give you eternal life with Him. I hope that if you have not already received Him that you will accept Him today. If you would like to accept Him into your heart all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and confess Him as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9). So this week we know that Jesus is our one and only mediator and that He is far more powerful and limitless than we can imagine and that He still answers prayers and requests to Him. Also, get in the word of God and pray and seek after Him this week, so that you will be able to know that you are closer to Him today than you were yesterday. I want to encourage you to be like the father in the passage and come to Jesus and ask Him to give everyone in your family, not physical healing, but the healing that only Jesus can bring, the gift of eternal life with Him. Check out the other blogs in this series A Study through the Gospel of John