Summary of passage: Jesus departs Samaria after 2 days and heads for Galilee. He was welcomed as the Galileans approved of what he did at Passover (turn over the money lenders’ tables) in Jerusalem. He visited Cana again where he had turned the water into wine at the wedding feast. He was approached by a royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum and was begged to heal him.
Jesus said unless the people see miraculous signs, they won’t believe. Jesus healed the man’s son from a distance. This was the second miraculous sign (the first being the water into wine at the wedding).
10) Jesus said unless he performs this miracle, the official will not believe. He performed the miracle. But the nobleman had to believe in Jesus’ words alone since the miracle was performed from afar. True faith is taking Jesus at his word.
11) Personal Question. My answer: Jesus answers prayer even if your faith is not perfect. Pray always and ask him. He is waiting to answer and to strength our faith in him.
12) Personal Question. My answer: First, the man asked. You can’t receive if you don’t ask (Matthew 7:7-8). The official had faith enough to come to Jesus or was desperate enough. Many a believer comes to Jesus desperate for him. The man believed in Jesus’ ability to do it. Jesus can do anything. The miracle turned the man and his household into believers. Miracles change lives. Believe Jesus can handle anything you are facing. Give it to him. Let him do the rest.
Conclusions: Great lesson on faith. Great lesson on miracles happening. Great lesson on Jesus caring for the people no matter who they are and deepening their faith no matter where they are on their walk with Him.
End Notes: This is the 2nd sign of 7 we will study (remember from our study of Revelation that 7 is the number of completion). The first is the water turning to wine at the wedding in chapter 2.
Because the people knew him and Galilee is where Jesus grew up, they did not honor him. However, we can be in danger of not honoring Jesus as well, a false sense of familiarity. They were interested only in his miracles. In essence, they were rejecting Jesus the Savior here instead of welcoming him.
Scholars debate if “his own country” means Judea or Galilee. A case can be made for both. Other Gospels relate to Galilee (Matthew 13:57 and Mark 6:4).
All Jews traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast (Exodus 23:14-17) as dictated by Jewish law.
Jesus had made His home in Capernaum (Matthew 4:13 and John 2:12). Though Jesus was at Cana (John 4:46a), the nobleman travelled the 20 or so miles (32 kilometers) from Capernaum to Cana. He was probably an officer of Herod Antipas (Jesus’ eventual killer).
Jesus rebuked those who depended on signs and wonders before they would believe. The you is plural so in general all Galileans. Signs and wonders can be a good thing, but they should not prove God to us. They do not change the heart. Just ask the Israelites who were wandering the desert before coming the Promised Land. So many miracles God did daily (like manna) and still they worshipped a golden calf.
The nobleman’s plea was based on need–not status. This is what Jesus wants-to fulfill our needs not our wants.
Had Jesus gone with the man, the man’s unbelief would still exist. This miracle is just as much about strengthening the father’s faith as it is about healing the child. God is amazing!
Fun Fact: Of Jesus’ recorded miracles, only 2 were done over a distance. The other is fulfilling the Roman centurion’s request (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:2-10). Note both are Gentiles and upper class.
Note there is no dramatic effects. Jesus says simply, “Your son will live.” No show or pomp. That’s Jesus.
The nobleman believed before the evidence rolled in. Exactly what we must do.
In faith, the nobleman walked home. He did not run. The nobleman’s faith was deepened by God’s power and personal experience of it.
In John the signs are given to lead the reader to faith (John 20:29-31). The relation between belief and signs is clear in John chapter 2 and chapter 4.
· The first sign persuaded His disciples
· The second sign persuaded a Jewish nobleman and his household
· The Samaritans believed without a sign
These first two signs take place at Cana of Galilee. The first was a happy occasion–a wedding. The second a horrible and tragic event–a dying child. Jesus is there in both the ups and down of our lives. Always and forever.
Map of Cana and Capernaum: