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. 47When 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. 48Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and
wonders, ye will not believe. 49The nobleman saith unto him, Sir,
come down ere my child die. 50Jesus 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. 51And as he was now going down, his servants met him,
and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52Then inquired he of them the
hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh
hour the fever left him. 53So 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. 54This is again the second miracle that Jesus
did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
say this miracle is the same as the healing of the centurion’s son in the
synoptics (#10) Luke 7:1-10 and Matt 8:5-13. But these are different for the
Nobleman - royal connections - maybe Jewish or Roman.
Entrusted with 100 men
begging to come touch son
don’t come - just speak
No positive comment on faith
Commendation on faith contrasted with Israel
Approaches the man at Capernaum
of the faith of the man.
in the reputation and power of Christ, - 47””When
faith in the promise of Christ (his word) -
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
finally in the person of Christ. - 53So 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.”
does this teach us about faith ? Faith grows! – 2 Thes. 1:3 “We
are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that
your faith groweth exceedingly”
It is like a seed –
8:11 “The seed is the word of God.”
Peter 1:23 “Being
born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever.”
10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and
hearing by the word of God.”
It may start small but in time as we mature it can grow
Seen in undue care—MATT.
6:30. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and
tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of
Seen in fear—MATT.
8:26. He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got
up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Seen in doubt—MATT.
14:31. Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little
faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Seen in wrong thinking—MATT.
16:8. Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are
you talking among yourselves about having no bread?
Seen in failure—MATT.
17:20. He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if
you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move
from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
events have occurred between the first and second signs in Cana.
He has done miracles in Jerusalem, had conversation with Nicodemus, talks
to the woman at the well in Samaria, etc. He
is well received by the Galileans in vs. 45 because they know about his
miraculous powers. This sets us up
for the nobleman’s arrival. We
know why he thinks Jesus has power.
nobleman has heard of Jesus’ miracles and believes He has the power to heal
his son. So he searches him out.
Jesus says, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will
never believe." The
"you" is in the plural, so Jesus is probably talking to the crowd
following Him instead of to the nobleman. The
nobleman is not looking for a sign. He
just wants his son healed.
Perhaps you are thinking, "I thought that the purpose of
the book of John was that "these signs were written that you might
believe..." (John 20:31) That
is true, but the key word is "written." It does not say that we should
wait to see signs before we believe. The written record of select miracles
should be enough to evoke faith.
Remembering the big picture of history in relation to
miracles, if you need to see a miracle to believe, then that leaves you out of
most of biblical history. God
always worked providentially, but only occasionally did He work miraculously.
I think this passage is relevant to the Signs and Wonders
debate. I think that to demand signs and wonders is a very dangerous thing.
Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who believe who have not
seen...” Jesus says that an evil and adulterous generation demands signs and
wonders. I have to reconcile those
statements of Jesus with the modern day emphasis on the miraculous. If a Signs
and Wonders advocate says that people need signs and wonders to believe, then we
can say with assurance that that is not biblical.
Sometimes people get the impression that because we are not
Signs and Wonders people we don’t believe in miracles nor think it would be
good if God did a miracle. I have
friends with cancer and other ailments, and I pray for their miraculous healing
believing that God can do it. Because
I don’t hype miracles doesn’t mean I don’t believe in miracles.
Do I expect them? I know that the prayer of a righteous man effects much.
And I know that sometimes we have not because we ask not, but I also know
that miracles are not the norm for history.
The difference is that I am not demanding a miracle so that I
will have faith or so others will believe.
If I am, then I am putting people in a precarious position.
Jesus said, “Unless you see, you will not believe.”
They could have believed without seeing. The proper belief is not in the
miracle. It is in the person of Christ. It
is not the act, it is the actor that they need to believe in.
\So the condemnation is against people who think they or others need to
see a miracle to believe in Jesus.
after Jesus gives the rebuke, the man still persists and makes his request.
The word for son is paidia, which means little boy.
the man persists, a demonstration of his faith, Jesus says, “Go, your son
lives...” This fits into the Life and Eternal Life theme of John’s gospel.
In the OT the term “live” is used of getting well (2Ki 8:9) and of
rising from the dead (1Ki 17:23). John
uses it with the first idea here. He
will use “live” with the second idea later.
"The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he started
off (John 4:50)" He takes Jesus at His word.
This is an important statement in the context. He is not one of those who needs to see a miracle to believe.
He believes Jesus’ word. The proof that the man believes is in his actions. He leaves
and heads for home. He didn’t do like Gideon and ask for proof.
It is a whole day’s walk back home. While he was still on the way, the
servants meet him going the other way. Why,
because at the moment Jesus said, “Go home, your son lives...” the boy got
well and the servants went in search of the father to tell him the good news.
Notice that in both of these first two miracles there is no
“how to,” no formula, no lightning and thunder when the miracle occurs.
Notice also that the telling of the actual miracle takes only a fraction
of the space devoted to the events surrounding it.
Therefore the miracle is not nearly as important as the situation and the
response of the people.
The law of proportion (in hermeneutics i.e. Bible study) teaches me that.
What is emphasized today in the healing ministries and signs and wonders
movement is the activity of the miracle.
If you have a strong enough stomach to watch the religious
stations while one of the healing shows is on, you will find that they spend 90%
of their time with people up on stage being healed.
There is little teaching going on, and what teaching occurs is focused on
how God wants to heal you. Today,
we have drum rolls, cymbals, etc. It
is all a show.
Someone has said that leaders understand orders and when Jesus said,
“Go.” The man went.
revelation of the miracle was by the servants on the way home.
From the servants the father found that the miracle coincided with the
time that the Lord spoke. The Greek word for "inquire" is only used here in
the NT and it means to ask for the purpose of confirmation - he knew already
that his son was well.
man and his whole household believed. Perhaps when he heard that the son got
well at the same time that Jesus had said, "Your son lives," there was
a new realization of who Jesus was. He
was the Messiah.
Acts 10:2, 11:14, 16:15, 16:31,
18:8 are passages where whole families believe.
first two miracles show that John’s purpose for recording miracles is being
fulfilled. People are believing in
the person of Christ. There has
been a movement from signs to the savior. They
move from wonder to worship.
This is the second sign that he performed.
It is a sign of His Messiahship, demonstrating His deity.
The purpose of the miracle in its context was to bring faith.
Faith is the result of trusting the words of God for the effects of God.
The man believed His word. There
is a stress on faith and on life being given.
Why is this miracle significant in the context of John’s
gospel? Does Jesus have to be
physically present for people to believe his words and experience the effect?
No. Why is that important?
Because Jesus is going to go away. Is
long distance a barrier to the Lord? No. I
hope not if He’s going to be back in heaven.
Faith is indispensable in pleasing God.
Distance is no barrier to the power of God.
Sickness is no respecter of age or person.
It strikes the young and the old, the rich and the poor.
Just because you are faithful, spiritual, a pastor or even a missionary,
doesn’t mean that your child won’t die in the field.
Affliction may bring blessing in disguise.
What brought the contact with Jesus?
Sickness What was the
God may use human tragedy to lead people to Himself as the only answer
both for physical life and spiritual life.
Jesus is not just the creator of life - first miracle - He is
the restorer of life - second miracle.
Faith in God’s word is preferred over faith in God’s
wonders. God may not always do
wonders. We’ve already discussed
how the wonders have only occurred in special times in history, but His word is
always around. Trusting in the word of Christ is the key.
Throughout the ages, people have continually tried to stress the miracles
and perform miracles thinking that people need to “SEE” the miracle in order
to believe. But this man believed
the Word of Jesus.
That is why Jesus is perturbed that this people will not
believe unless they See. The
opportunity to See miracles is so limited that few will have a chance to See and
Believe. Most will have to just
hear and believe.
When Jesus says it, it’s done.
Sometimes God works in the immaturity of our faith to bring
us to more complete faith. Maybe it
is not complete - saving faith. Another
example is Cornelius who was a God-fearer.
He had faith, but he didn’t have saving faith in the person of Jesus.