The Gospel of John: John 4.43-54
Read and meditate on John 4.49, 50.
The grace of Jesus, and His love for this man and his son, is beautifully evident in His simple reply to the nobleman’s desperate plea. He sees more deeply into this man than the man himself does. Jesus is about to heal not just a man’s son, but the man himself.
49The nobleman replied, “Please, Sir, come down
and heal my son, before he dies!” 50“Go on
your way,” said Jesus. “Your son lives.” And so
the man believed the word that Jesus spoke
to him, and went his way.
- John 4.49, 50
1. This man’s persistence is admirable, even if it may have struck some people as overbearing or out of line. He was, after all, an “out-of-towner,” and the people of Cana probably preferred to keep Jesus with them. The phrase, “before my child dies,” reveals something about the nature and limits of this man’s faith at this time. Explain. Complete this prayer: I need to remember, Lord, that conversion is a process, and some people I will meet…
2. Is Jesus looking for mature, theologically complete and unadulterated people, before He will respond to the needs they bring before Him? To what kind of faith does He respond? Lord, I have faith in You, but I want to believe more! Help me today to…
3. Speak Jesus’ response out loud, like you think He might have said it. Listen to yourself as you try to mimic the sadness, compassion, joy, and authority that were surely mixed in Jesus’ words. Is this the way we speak to the needy people around us? Let my words today, Lord, be like Yours. In all respects, let them be…
4. How did this man know that he believed Jesus? How did John and the others know? How do we know? Is faith true and complete unless it can in some sense be observed? Explain. Lord, I know that faith involves evidence (Heb. 11.1). Today, I want to see more…
5. Put yourself in this man’s shoes for a moment. Explain the relationship between hearing Jesus’ Word, receiving and responding to it, and hope. Was hope important to this man? How can we grow stronger in hope, and how might we expect that to affect our walk with and work for the Lord? Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.
“The nobleman believed that Jesus needed to come [to his son to heal him]. But Christ does not reject our lack of apprehension; rather, as God, he helps even the stumbling. What the man then should have been admired for doing is what Jesus teaches him even when he does not end up doing it. In this way Jesus is revealed both as the teacher of the most lovely things and the giver of good things in prayer. For, in ‘Go your way,’ there is faith. In ‘your son lives’ there is the fulfillment of his longings, granted with both a generosity and an authority befitting to God.” Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD)
As we shall see in the remainder of this passage, faith in Jesus grows. As it takes root, it begins to increase and show evidence of rooting. As it grows, it becomes stronger and bears more fruit. No one’s faith is complete at any point. We all have room to grow, and we grow by obedience into hope. How are you presently working to grow your faith in Jesus? Where do you need to be more consistent and diligent in obeying Him?
Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
Psalm 40.9, 10 (Dix: For the Beauty of the Earth)
Lord, Your truth will I proclaim to Your people gathered ‘round,
Nor will I my lips restrain – let Your precious ways resound!
Of Your saving grace and Word I would speak, most loving Lord!
T. M. Moore
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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.