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The Scriptorium

A Father's Plea

Jesus can meet our needs, even those we don't recognize.

The Gospel of John: John 4.43-54

Read and meditate on John 4.46, 47.
This vignette probably represents one of many such situations that occurred while Jesus was in Galilee this time. John can’t tell us everything; he tells us only what we need to know so that we will believe in Jesus and receive Him as He intends (cf. Jn. 20.30, 31).

46So Jesus came again to Cana, there
in Galilee, the little village where
He made the water wine. A certain one
was there, a nobleman, who had a son
back in Capernaum, and he was sick.
47And when he heard that Jesus had come back
to Galilee, he went to Him, and pled
with Him to heal his son, now nearly dead.

- John 4.46, 47

1.  In which of the two senses of receive (lambano or dechomai – see yesterday’s installment) did this nobleman seek to receive Jesus? What about Jesus made him approach Him? Complete this prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You receive us, even when our coming to You is…

2.  Jesus knew what was in the heart of every person (Jn. 2.25). In one sense, this nobleman honored Jesus by coming to Him. How would you explain the way he honored Jesus here? Was Jesus willing to be thus honored? I suppose, Lord, that many people would honor You like this if they understood…

3.  This man viewed Jesus as One Who could heal his dying son. He was right, of course. The reason he looked at Jesus in this way was directly related to a most pressing personal need. What are some urgent personal needs that people feel today? Should they be encouraged to look to Jesus for help in meeting those needs? Explain. I know, Lord, that when it comes to my own needs, You… 

4.  The nobleman implored Jesus for help. The form of this verb (imperfect) suggests that he did this over and over and perhaps at increasing levels of intensity. How earnest in his request was this nobleman? Does that matter when someone is coming to Jesus for anything (cf. Matt. 7.7, 8)? Explain. You know my heart, Lord, for You know the heart of every person. You know that when I ask You for something, I’m…

5. If Jesus is willing to meet people’s needs, at least as a first step toward their receiving Him as He intends, what does this suggest about our role as disciples and witnesses of our Lord, and how we invite others to consider Him? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you wrote for questions 1-4.

“This person certainly was of royal lineage or possessed some dignity from his office, which is why the title ‘noble’ was attached to it. Some think that he is the same centurion who is mentioned in Matthew. But it is clear that he is a different person from the fact that when Christ wanted to come to the centurion’s house in Matthew, the centurion there did not entreat him.… The official here in John brought Christ to his house, although he had received no promise of a cure.… And the centurion in Matthew met Jesus on his way from the mountain to Capernaum, whereas the official in John came to Jesus in Cana. Notice also that the Matthaean centurion’s servant was laid up with the palsy. The Johannine official’s son had a fever.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

The salvation Jesus brings restores wholeness to lives, and meets our needs by refocusing all our highest hopes and aspirations on Him. Jesus is willing for people to come to Him through their needs, as He meets them. What are the greatest needs that Jesus meets, and how does the Gospel incorporate these?

Closing Prayer
My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness
And Your salvation all the day,
For I do not know their limits.
I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD;
I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only.
O God, You have taught me from my youth;
And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.

Psalm 71.15-17

Psalm 71.12-16, 3 (Solid Rock: My Hope is Built on Nothing Less)
O God, be not too far from me; my ever-present Helper be!
Consume and shame my enemies; let them reproached and humbled be.
    A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
    My Rock and Fortress ever be!

But as for me, my voice I raise to sing in hope and constant praise!
With saving grace my voice will swell Your never-ending grace to tell.
    A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me;
    My Rock and Fortress ever be!

T. M. Moore

To learn more about working your Personal Mission Field, sign up for Mission Partners Outreach, a six-month online training program to help you identify and begin preparing the way to Jesus for the people to whom God sends you each day. The training is free, and you can go through it with a friend, right where you are. Click here to watch a brief video introducing this opportunity.

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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