Gospel of John 4:43-54 A Big Request

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43After the two days he left for Galilee. 44(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.

46Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48“Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

49The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.”

53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.

54This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.

This is quite a big request. This man is asking Jesus to drag his followers over 20 miles toward the Sea of Galilee (at least the walk was mostly downhill!) in order to heal his son. I don’t know about you but if my son was dying I would have a hard time taking someone’s word for it that he was better. Without laying a hand on him or even seeing him, Jesus tells the man he can go home because his son will live. It says, “The man took him at his word.” He doesn’t have the whole Gospel in front of him. He isn’t privy to the D,B,R (death, burial and resurrection). He doesn’t have 1% of what we have to put our faith in Jesus. After all, this is only the second sign in the Gospel of John! And yet he believes Jesus and starts the 20 mile walk home. I believe I would have wanted more proof or at least for Jesus to see my son. Not this man…he has faith in Jesus and turns to walk home. Sure enough Jesus was right and his was healed at that very moment. What if the father had not believed…

This text begs a couple of questions:

  1. How much faith to we have in Jesus…not just a show up on Sunday and worship God kind of faith…do we have a turn around and walk home because Jesus said so, “take him at his word” type faith? A kind of faith that has no room for God to be wrong…he said his son was well and that meant he could go home. He doesn’t need to beg Jesus to come because he had faith.
  2. What signs has God given us that he is alive, active and wants for us to take him at his word?
  3. What obstacles to putting your faith in Jesus have you encountered and how has God helped you overcome them?
  4. Do we realize just how much our faith has an impact on the lives and well being of our children?

The consequences of our belief or disbelief can be life giving or it can be quite deadly. We have a great responsibility.

0 Responses

  1. Matt,

    Good post. (I’m a little behind in my blog reading.) I too noticed the fact that the man “took Jesus at his word.”

    My question for you is this? What does John mean in verse 53 when he says, “So he and all his household believed.”? Is John saying that his household added their belief to his? Or is there something different about the belief he had after his son was healed? How is this “belief” different from “taking Jesus at his word”?


    P.S. Since Jesus and the disciples didn’t go with the man, you kind of have to wonder how John knew what happened to the man after he left Jesus.

    1. I can’t speak for this man but I know there have been times in my life that I have asked God for something so specific it could only come from Him and no where else. When it happened just like I asked, it grew my faith!

      It seems to me this man is experiencing something similar. His son was healed at the exact time Jesus said his son would live (4:53). So, while he believed Jesus could do it, it was quite another matter to actually see it done and know it was no accident. Hard to say this with any certainty. No matter how we try to figure that out we have to read things into the text. So it all has some level of speculation unless John had given us more to work with.

      I guess John knew that by inspiration?

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