The Gospel of John, The Third Interview, The Nobleman of Capernaum, John 4:48-54 - Lesson 28
Read John 4:43-54, for review
Verse 4:48,49, Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
Here we see a characteristic of Jesus.
The nobleman had come to ask Jesus to come down and heal his son.
This was the need as far as the man was concerned, but this was not the most important need that the nobleman had.
The need of the man was spiritual, the lesser need was the physical need of his son.
Jesus went to the heart of the man's need, not the fact that his son was dying.
We are so easily diverted to physical needs of people when our main interest, while not neglecting the physical, must always be spiritual.
Jesus was telling the nobleman to exercise faith in the person of Jesus Christ.
He wants this man to believe without seeing.
The higher plain is to believe without seeing.
He told Thomas that those that have not seen, but believe, are blessed.
The nobleman cannot engage his mind to such thoughts.
His mind is single toward his son. Come down, he insists.
But Jesus does not come down, Jesus does not solve his problem in the way commanded, but he does grant the nobleman's request and tells him in:
Verses 4:50, to Go thy way: thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
He heard the word and was satisfied.
He heard the word and left at peace.
Jesus spoke with authority and the nobleman believed him.
Jesus tested his faith.
He didn't comply with the nobleman's command to come down.
He spoke and tested the nobleman's faith to believe that Jesus had power to direct the affairs of men from afar.
He commanded death to leave the nobleman's door.
Would the nobleman accept this and grow in faith? John tells us "Yes" he did believe.
Real faith was now begotten in him.
He believed and went his way trusting that what Jesus said was done.
A nobleman had believed in Christ.
This is one example, perhaps the only place in scripture, where a nobleman believed.
Not many noble, not many mighty are called.
Verse 4:51-53, And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So 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.
The nobleman goes down. The lake lies 695 feet below the Mediterranean Sea.
He is welcomed by the servants with the good news which he already knew, because Jesus already told him that his son lived.
It is interesting to note that Cana and Capernaum were about 22 miles apart.
The nobleman could have made it home the same day
Why did the nobleman not rush home to see if what Jesus had said was true?
But we see here that the servants tell him that yesterday at the seventh hour (about 1:00 PM), the time when Jesus told him his son lived, the fever left the boy.
The nobleman stays the afternoon and night in Cana apparently resting in the assurance that Jesus gave.
He then returns the following day rejoicing with confidence that his son, who had been at the point of death, now lives.
He then asks as to the exact time that his son revived and in so doing his faith is increased. He knows that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of God. He had first believed the Lord's promise now he believes on the Lord's person
His whole house hears him recount the story and as he faithfully witnesses Jesus Christ's word his whole house is saved.
Verse 4:54, This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
This concludes the section of this gospel of John called "The period of Consideration" where by certain events Jesus was presented to the public for their consideration and acceptance.
In this period of consideration he claimed Messiah ship and nothing less for himself than deity. He demanded nothing less from his followers than obedient faith.
It is inevitable that claims such as Jesus made would be opposed.
You will soon find out that if you stand for the claims of Christ and voice those claims publicly you also will receive opposition.
We have no right to expect better at the hands of sinners than our Lord received.
This opposition to the claims of Christ begins in the section of this gospel we call "The Period of Controversy.
Chapters 5 and 6 show the development of the opposition, in debate and controversy before it breaks out in deadly conflict.
The claims and demands of Christ meet opposition in this section of the Gospel of John, because the demands of the Lord begin to interfere with the practices, prejudices and sins of his hearers.
Jesus claims the allegiance of men based upon his deity; his divine right as the creator of men.
Those that believed these claims followed him and those that did not follow him called him an imposter.
This controversy centered around two events discussed in Chapters 5 and 6; the healing of the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda and the feeding of the 5000 in Galilee.
These two events differ in character, in scope, in locality, and in response.
One involved an individual, the other the masses.
One involved a sick man, the other many hungry people.
The one took place in Jerusalem, the other in Galilee.
The healing brought the enmity of the Jews, the other the acclamation of the multitudes.
Both events produced controversy and John adds the teaching of Jesus that followed both events to his account of this period.
We may note that of the seven signs mentioned in the Gospel of John four took place in Galilee and three in Judea.
The signs which took place in Judea, in the heart of Judaism, produced a growing hostility to Jesus.
Jesus was from Galilee, outside the mainstream, an outsider, and he deliberately chose the festivals for his signs when the most people would be around to know what he did.
His signs were calculated to offend the rulers of the Jews.
My, what a difference from the modern preacher!