About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Pervious Section - Chapter 4:39 - 42

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Jesus Heals The Officials Son (ch. 4:43-54)


In verse 43 John tells us that after two 
days Jesus left for Galilee.  This would have been from the Roman province of Samaria. 


In verse 43 Jesus points out that a prophet has no honour in his own country.  Galilee was Jesus country.  To be more specific, it was His own province, or general area where He grew up and presently lived.  I think it's a bit ironic that Jesus lived in the area of the ten northern tribes of Israel as seen in the Old Testament.  It was these tribes that first fell away from God in Old Testament times.


It's just a sad fact of life.  People tend to see and view you as you once were, or as one they grew up with.  They have a hard time seeing who you presently are, namely a Christian with a ministry from God.  They may see the old you and not the new you even though the new you is quite obvious.  The people here in Galilee ; at least those who knew Him, would have only known Him in His pre-baptism life.  They would have thought of Jesus as just one of them, but He wasn't.  All that being said, I think Jesus was going a bit farther here.  We will see that those in His own country came to despise Him, not just fail to honour Him. 


We should understand Jesus' words here to mean that one is without honour in his home town is simply a fact of life.  He is certainly not condoning this mentality.  In fact, I believe He was saying this was not the mentality to have.   


Even though Galilee was Jesusí home province, John says that many believed in Him because they saw the miracles He performed.


In verse 45 we learn that not all Galileans dishonoured ensues.  Many, who were
in Jerusalem at Passover, saw the miracles He performed and did honour Him.  


In verse 46 we learn that the next place where John tells us that Jesus visited was Cana in Galilee where He had turned the water into wine. 


In verse 47 John tells us that there was a certain royal official whose son was sick back in Capernaum where he lived.  He wanted Jesus to heal his son because he had heard of the healings that Jesus had performed.


Being an official, this man would have been a Roman, a Gentile.  It's interesting now that Jesus left the Jews in Judea, went to Samaria where half Jews lived and dealt with those people, and now, he is in Galilee dealing with a Gentile.  This is the same progression we see in the book of Acts.  The gospel was first preached to the Jews, then the Samaritans, and then the Gentiles.  You see this in Acts 2, 8, and 10.


Note the word "beg" in the NIV.  The Greek word here does not imply a beggar begging.  It implies one in authority asking a favour of another in authority.  The Greek text does not imply that this man approach Jesus from the standpoint of a poor beggar as the word "beg" might imply.       


In verse 18 Jesus responds to the man by saying that people will only believe if they see a miracle.   In one sense of the word, this was in fact why Jesus performed miracles.  They were signs to bring them to belief in Him, yet, now Jesus seems to be saying that unless He does a miracle the people wonít believe.  We know that Jesus would not perform miracles to prove who He really was.  The Pharisees tempted Him to do that and He refused.  In this case Jesus must have seen something in this manís heart because He did heal the manís son. 


This might be conjecture on my part but I would not be surprised, at least at this moment in time, Jesus might have wished that people would believe in Him for whom He is and not for the miracles He performed.  When it comes right down to it, that's the bottom line when it comes to having real faith.  We believe, or trust, Jesus, not for what He has done but for who He is. Later on John will tell us that Jesus told the disciples that they believed because they had seen Him after His resurrection.  Jesus then said that blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe.  See John 20:29.


In verse 49 the officer avoided Jesus' response to him and just asked Jesus again to come with him and heal his son.  In verse 50 Jesus simply responded by saying, "go home, your son is healed."  Again, Jesus works in accordance with God's will.  It was not yet time for Jesus to head any farther north to this officer's home.     


Verse 50 tells us that the man took Jesus at His word.  He simply believed, or, trusted, what Jesus said was true.  He believed his son was healed.  Again, we should understand that this officer had not approached Jesus from the standpoint of a beggar.  He approached Jesus from the stand point of one in authority with another in authority.  Therefore, with this understanding, it was only natural that this man would understand and believe that Jesus was speaking the truth about his son's healing.      


In verses 51 and 52 we note that on the official's way home he was met by some of his servants who told him that the fever left his son and that he was better.  Out of curiosity the man asked the servants when his son got better.  They told him that the fever left at the seventh hour.  That was the time when Jesus told him that the miracle was done. 


In verse 53 we see that the result of this healing was that the man's whole household became believers.  The man believed Jesus when He told him that his son would be better.  His belief took another step when the servants told him the time in which his son got better.  This tells us that the manís faith grew, like yours and mine.  Then beyond that, that whole family believed, and that would include the man's servants.  Some call this "household salvation."  It was the culture of the day for family's to follow the father.  It would have been only natural for all this man's family to believe.  That being said, the miracle sure helped their belief in Jesus.    


When we first come to Jesus we donít
have much understanding to put our faith in.
We donít need a lot of understanding.  We donít need loads of faith.  Really, one canít have loads of faith.  Faith is not something that you can have loads of.  Faith is trust.  We can't get more faith, but we can learn how to trust more.  This man began to believe, began to trust, and as time went on, his trust deepened.  He learned to trust more.  Our lives as Christians are a matter of trusting Jesus more, every day of our lives.   


Verse 54 simply tells us that this was
the second miracle Jesus performed 
after leaving the Passover in Judea.


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Pervious Section - Chapter 4:39 - 42

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