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Healing the Official's Son - The Second Sign

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The 2nd Sign:  Healing the Official’s Son

JOHN, the Book, the Man – Part 10

March 25, 2007    Dr. Rick Isbell

John 4:43-54

 

43 After two days He left there for Galilee. 44 Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.  45 When they entered Galilee, the Galileans welcomed Him because they had seen everything He did in Jerusalem during the festival.  For they also had gone to the festival.

46 Then He went again to Cana of Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine. There was a certain royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and pleaded with Him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die.

48 Jesus told him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”

49 “Sir,” the official said to Him, “come down before my boy dies!”

50 “Go,” Jesus told him, “your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed.

51 While he was still going down, his slaves met him saying that his boy was alive. 52 He asked them at what time he got better. “Yesterday at seven in the morning the fever left him,” they answered. 53 The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” Then he himself believed, along with his whole household.

54 This therefore was the second sign Jesus performed after He came from Judea to Galilee.

4:43-45. After His two-day ministry in Samaria, Jesus and His disciples continued north into Galilee.

44 Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 

 

This was a proverbial type saying that the people were likely familiar with and there may have been a little confusion over why Jesus was saying this because Galilee had actually been good to Him up to this point.

-          They actually kind of got a kick out Him clearing the temple

-          They certainly appreciated His miracles

-          Remember, this is where He turned water into wine and went around healing people to help spread faith in Him around the area

But we know from Luke 4 that there were even men in Galilee who wanted Jesus dead and tried to kill Him.

Perhaps John was preparing his readers for the upcoming rejection;

-          he may have been saying that even with the warm reception Jesus received in Galilee,

-          He still was not really accepted

-          Their enthusiasm for the Healer (Mark 5 & 6) did not always indicate they had faith in Him


46 Then He went again to Cana of Galilee… there was a certain royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum.

 

The certain royal official is not identified.

-          But because of the way John refers to him, it is likely that he was a Jewish official, likely wealthy and with some degree of authority among the people.

His son was sick and you know that he had exhausted all his options that he could use money and authority to address

-          He had come 25 miles (rough travel) from Capernaum to see this guy he heard about who could do healings.

 

Life Lesson #1:  When there is a crisis, go to Jesus.

It would certainly be better if we didn’t save Jesus as the “last resort” but instead would go to Him as the “first support;”

-          But it may already be too late for you to do that

-          So don’t fear calling on Him if you already neck-deep in the crisis

OBSERVATION #1 – The Official personally went to Jesus

-          He didn’t send a servant to Jesus

-          Didn’t talk to a priest

-          Didn’t call on Buddha or Muhammad

-          Didn’t put out a search warrant for Jesus

-          He PERSONALLY traveled to where Jesus was and found Him

 

47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and pleaded with Him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die.

 

Observation #2 – The Official approached Jesus pleading for mercy, not demanding with his authority or trying to buy Jesus with his wealth.

 

The Official was in no place emotionally or physically to demand anything of Jesus or challenge Him in anyway.

-          If he was indeed a Jewish Official, no doubt he had already heard rumors of Jesus and the early rumblings of unrest among the other leaders of the land

-          Perhaps, even before his son’s illness, he had been a part of planning meetings where they were discussing what they were going to do with this Jesus and all his new followers

-          But now the man is desperate and broken… his son is on his deathbed

But look again at what Jesus says to him:

48 Jesus told him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”

 

Basically, Jesus turned His back on the man and just started talking to the crowd with a sharp statement.

It was likely that the crowd knew who this Official was

-          They were likely surprised that a Jewish Official would ask Jesus for anything… especially personal help

-          They wanted to see how Jesus would respond

-          They hoped for a little more abracadabra

Jesus’ address, though sharp, was necessary.

-          A faith built only on miraculous signs is not a complete faith

-          Jesus was saying, you say you believe in me and follow me, but really, you people just want to see another miracle

-          Mister Jewish Official, you are not here because you believe in me… you are here for a miracle

Life Lesson #2 – Faith in Jesus is the priority because not everyone receives a public miracle.

If your faith is only based on what Jesus does at this moment in your life, how is that possibly going to sustain you through all the rest of life’s challenges?

ILL - Atlanta Media Tycoon Ted Turner, founder of CNN, TBS, TNT, has more than once attacked the Christian community. Once he described Christianity as "a religion for losers" and another time he mocked Catholics at CNN for being "Jesus freaks" when they arrived for work on Ash Wednesday with ashen crosses on their foreheads.

What you may not know about him is that he wasn’t always so anti-Christian. In fact he revealed in an interview with the New Yorker magazine in April 2001 that he was actually training to become a missionary, but he turned his back on God & Christianity after watching his younger sister die a slow and painful death from an immune system disease when he was a teenager. He told the New Yorker, "I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be made or allowed to suffer so."

This is the problem with temporal faith, it’s dependent upon "what have you done for me lately"

-          it’s not the kind of faith that Christ desires in our life,

-          he doesn’t want us to trust in him just for things

-          He wants us to trust Him

49 “Sir,” the official said to Him, “come down before my boy dies!”

The Official seems to say, “I don’t really care about what they are here for, I am here because I have nowhere else to go and I am trying to believe that you are who you say you are and that you can help me.”

“So, come down before my boy dies!”

 

Observation #3 – Don’t tell Jesus how to handle your crisis and answer your prayer.

 

If He is truly ‘Logos’, the very Word of God

-        All seeing

-        All knowing

-        All powerful

-        All loving

-        Sees my life from the beginning to the very end

-        Does He really need me to explain to Him how my life needs to go?

“Jesus, I believe in you to heal my kid, so come on, you’re going to Capernaum and get the job done.”

50 “Go,” Jesus told him, “your son will live.”

 

Jesus in essence said, “No, I’m not going to Capernaum.”

Life Lesson #3 – When Jesus says ‘No,’ it is because He has something better in mind.

 

The man came to Jesus and said, “ I want you to come to Capernaum and heal my son.”

Did the man really want Jesus in Capernaum or did the man really want his son healed?

-          He wanted his son healed

-          If he delighted himself in the Lord, obey Him and listened to Him, then the Lord would give him the REAL desire of his heart… the healing of his child.

Observation #4 – The Official took Jesus at His word and turned the crisis over to Him.

50b The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed.

 

He didn’t demand more from Jesus

-          Didn’t pitch a fit

-          Didn’t rant and rave

-          Didn’t have Him arrested and dragged to Capernaum

Observation #5 – Obeying Jesus PRECEEDED the man’s growing faith and the miracle he experienced.

 

It was along the way back home that the man must have wrestled with what was taking place

-          Why did Jesus initially say ‘no’?

-          Do I really trust Him or am just looking for what I can get out of this?

-          Am I a man of faith that can courageously do whatever God puts out there before me?

The man was learning that the more often you obey Jesus, the stronger your faith grows and the easier it gets to trust Him in the future.

51 While he was still going down, his slaves met him saying that his boy was alive. 52 He asked them at what time he got better. “Yesterday at seven in the morning the fever left him,” they answered. 53 The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.”

 

Life Lesson #4 – Be a witness to the work of Jesus in your life and others will believe.

53b …Then he himself believed, along with his whole household.

He sought out Jesus…

-          Took Him at His Word

-          Obeyed His Word

-          Put feet to his faith by heading home like instructed

-          Believed in Who Jesus was and received a wonderful miracle of a healed son as a bonus to his own changed heart

Then he shared that faith with his whole family and they too believed and followed Jesus.

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