Healing the Nobleman’s Son – Watching Faith Grow!
Study No. 9 – Chapter 4:43 - 54
Footsteps of Jesus.
(1) Comes from Nazareth to John the Baptist who was baptising just north of Jericho at the northern end of Judea.
(2) After His baptism Jesus spends 40 days in the wilderness.
(3) Jesus returns to John the Baptist, sees two disciples there and encourages them to follow him.
(4) Jesus goes north to Cana of Galilee. From there briefly to Capernaum.
(5) He goes South to Jerusalem for His first Passover
(6) After the visit from Nicodemus Jesus begins a northward journey near to where John was baptising and spends a number of months evangelising and baptising.
(7) ,Jesus decides to go north to Galilee and must go through Samaria.
(8) After ministering to the woman at the well, by invitation he spends 2 more days evangelising there.
(9) His first stop in Galilee is Cana. Why Cana? Perhaps to confirm those who believed as a result of the miracle there. This is where we pick up the story in this study.
Jesus Leaves Samaria for Galilee (Not for Nazareth v43,44 ).
He is well received by the Galileans because they had also been to the Passover and had seen Jesus performing many miracles there v45.
One thing we will see repeated as we study this gospel is Jesus method of evangelizing.
His method seems to include 3 variations:
1. Group evangelism
2. Approaching an individual
3. Being approached by an individual
We can learn from Jesus:
1. If we have the ‘gift’ of evangelism
2. If we are equipped to evangelise
3. If we are none of the above but are part of his body, the church.
Nicodemus searched Jesus out because he was very curious after what he had seen.
The woman of Samaria did not seek Jesus out … Jesus approached her.
In this case we once again have someone who is coming to Jesus. (v 46 – 54)
A ‘nobleman’ in Capernaum, whose son is dying, hears that Jesus is in Cana and goes personally to find Him. What does this say about his faith or understanding about who Jesus is and what He might be able to do? This is what we hope to discover.
1. How did he hear so quickly?
How long did it take to get there?
How did he locate Jesus once he got to Cana?
Wonder and amazement were evidently felt by all who had seen the miracles Jesus did during the last Passover event. Perhaps a number of them ‘kept tabs’ on Jesus’ whereabouts and intentions. As various ones would travel to and from Jerusalem they would, upon arriving at home report on where Jesus is and what he is doing. It would not be too hard to locate Jesus in Cana. I would imagine the whole town would be buzzing with the news of his arrival and ministry.
2. Why does he expect Jesus to come in person?
He has no reason to think that Jesus can heal from a distance. Although he has faith, it has limits or deficiencies. He is not the only one recorded in scripture whose faith was flawed. (Mr 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!")
What about your faith or mine? Could it be deficient in any way?
Faith can grow. (2Th 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,)
Ro 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
3. Why does he urge Jesus to come quickly? What does this say about the extent of his faith?
Jer 32:27 "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
4. What is Jesus’ remark to him about signs and wonders designed to accomplish?
About ‘signs and wonders’ we read in John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
In this case, seeing signs and wonders does not appear to be a bad thing. This can only mean that, having seen signs and wonders at the Passover, some of those here are not satisfied and never will be satisfied unless they have more and more. Here is also a word of caution for us in certain Christian circles who have one service after the other highlighting signs and wonders.
This is a word of rebuke for the nobleman. “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” Not believe what? Not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. So what is the man thinking? ‘I saw him heal others (Or – I have been told he healed others). If he can heal my son, then he must be the Christ!’
5. How does this man receive Jesus’ pronouncement that his son is well?
If there is such a thing as ‘fuller’ faith, this man now responds with it. He leaves Jesus, spends the night here and proceeds home in the morning.
Note- God does not always respond to us in accordance to how we ask. In this case it was ‘better’ in the sense that it was quicker and easier. God, being sovereign answers according to what is best for us. Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
6. What is the purpose of the man’s question to the messengers who have come from home with the good news?
This is a man who deeply wants to be sure that Jesus is the Messiah. This is his way of completing his faith to the highest level.
7. When the man hears the words confirming that his son indeed is well and understands that this was accomplished by Jesus what does his response say about the various levels of faith?
“He believed” … indicating now a ‘full’ faith.
a) Sickness or other negative situations may be the opportunity for a great blessing. Here the sickness of the boy resulted in the salvation of the entire family.
b) The father of a family may be the means of the salvation of his children.
c) Later Jesus will make Capernaum his base from which he operates. It is likely that this man and his household become a very real part of Jesus’ life and ministry.
d) We cannot tell from John’s gospel account just how many days or months that Jesus ministers here.
The other gospels indicate much activity. Mt 4:23 ¶ And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.