Tuesday, May 12, 2015

John 4:43-54 comments: the nobleman's son lay dying

43 ¶  Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44  For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45  Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 46  So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47  When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48  Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49  The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50  Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51  And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52  Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53  So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54  This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

The Galileans had been witnesses to what Jesus did at the feast and received Jesus based on what they saw. Returning to the region where He had turned water into wine He was met by a nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. This man asked that Jesus would come to heal that son. Jesus then, in verse 48, makes an important point about these Jews. The Jewish people were born in signs and wonders.

1Corinthians 1:22  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

Deuteronomy 6:20  And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you? 21  Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: 22  And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: 23  And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.

Verse 50 makes an important point about the nature of salvation that is consistent throughout the Bible. In order to be justified before God in spite of your moral failings and your weaknesses and your sin you must believe what He said. You must believe His words, His promises, and His statements.

Noah believed what God said and he and his family were saved from a worldwide cataclysm in a picture of our salvation. Abraham believed God’s promises and became the progenitor of races of people and the faith tradition that led to Christ.

Romans 4:20  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

His life and his Psalms show that David, in spite of his moral failings, believed God and never worshipped other gods. The Prophets believed God and spoke His words to the people of Israel. The essence of faith is trust and belief that God will perform what He has spoken in His Bible, including what Jesus says about Himself and what the Apostles, particularly Paul, say about Him. Our problem is that we tend to misrepresent what God has promised to ourselves and others and take things assigned to the Jews in a physical, earthly kingdom to the church in a spiritual kingdom that is not of this world. Faith is destroyed when preachers make guarantees of prosperity and a painless existence for Christians that are not promised in God’s word, not revealed by the lives of His noteworthy saints, and not borne out by the lives of those dedicated to God throughout history.

God did not promise to heal you of your cancer in this life nor did He guarantee you that your child would not die before you. He made no promise that you wouldn’t grieve or suffer loss. He promised you sweet, life-changing fellowship with Him in this life (John 14:23), comfort from Him that you can give to others (2Corinthians 1:4), and eternal life with Him (John 10:28) among other things but at no time does He promise the Christian that loved ones won’t die or that he or she won’t succumb to the diseases that are common to mankind or suffer difficulties that are common to human beings.

But, the essence of faith is believing what God said and in this passage He promised this Jewish nobleman his son would be healed and it was done. This was the second miracle after the wedding in Cana where He turned water into wine.

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