John 4:43-54

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 43-44) Our Lord spent two days in Samaria, where many people believed on Him, not because of miracles, which He did; they believed His Word. We do not read of any miracles being performed in Samaria at this time. After these two days in Samaria, He journeyed into Galilee. He did not go to Nazareth, which is a city in Galilee, but into the country part of Galilee and to Cana, another city in Galilee. He said on two occasions, "A prophet hath no honor in his own country" (Matt. 13:57; Luke 4:24).

(Vs. 45) Perhaps this verse will give us a key to understanding Verse 44. When He came to the country of Galilee (which was His home country, where He grew up), He was received NOT AS A PROPHET but AS A MIRACLE WORKER; for many of these Galileans were at Jerusalem during the feast of the passover and had seen the miracles performed by Him (John 2:23-25). Such is human nature, materialistic, fleshly, and caring much for the body and little for the soul (John 6:25-27; Luke 4:23). People are interested in miracles but not mercy. As a miracle-worker, Christ is honored: but as the Son of God incarnate, He is rejected (John 1:10-11) in Galilee.

(Vs. 46) So Jesus came to Galilee and chose to go again to Cana of Galilee, where He had performed His first miracle, turning water into wine. There was a certain nobleman (royal officer and ruler) there whose son lay very ill in Capernaum. Capernaum was about twenty miles from Cana.

(Vs. 47) It is evident that this nobleman had heard of Christ or had been present in Jerusalem or Cana when Christ performed other miracles, for he went to the Master and asked Him to go to Capernaum and heal his son. He had a form of faith in the power of Christ to heal, but it certainly was not as strong nor as great as the centurian of Matt. 8:5-10 who believed that only THE WORD OF CHRIST was sufficient to heal, whether He was present in body or not.

(Vs. 48) Our Lord rebuked him. He knew the man's heart. A measure of faith he had, but not a full committal to Christ nor a full understanding of Who He was (John 4:10; Mark 8:11-12). This man not only undertook to tell the Lord WHAT to do but HOW to do it. He certainly did not manifest the attitude of the father in Mark 9:23-24.

(Vs. 49) The nobleman did not become angry at the Saviour's rebuke: instead he accepted the Lord's exhortation and continued to plead for the life of his son. One thing he did know and believe, and that was that Christ could heal his son; and if He did not, the boy would die. He repeated his request, this time pleading, "Sir, come down or my child will die." His faith may have been weak, but he continued to plead for mercy for his son.

(Vs. 50) Our Lord said, "Go thy way; thy son liveth." Upon this the man turned and left, believing THE WORD OF CHRIST! We see here the growth of faith. He certainly manifests more and truer faith in Christ than when he first came to Him. Here is the foundation of true and saving faith – THE WORD OF GOD (Rom. 10:17; John 5:24; Heb. 13:5-6). The nobleman raised no objections, asked no questions, looked not for signs nor feelings, but simply went his way believing the Word of Christ.

(Vs. 51) As the nobleman journeyed home, his servants came out to meet him to bear the good news that his son was healed. They knew nothing of the meeting of their master with the Lord Jesus, but merely came to tell him the good news.

(Vs. 52) He inquired of the servants the hour when the boy was healed; and they said, "Yesterday at one hour past noon." The word YESTERDAY brings out an interesting point. Cana and Capernaum were only four or five hours apart, and it was only one hour after noon that the Master pronounced the boy healed. Why did not the father rush right home? It may be that he had such confidence in the Word of Christ that he completed his business in Cana and spent the night, confident that his son was all right. Verse 50 says that he believed, and indeed he did.

(Vs. 53) We see all the way through this narrative the growth of this man's faith. He came to Christ at the first because he believed upon the testimony of others or because of the miracles he had seen. Having met the Lord Jesus himself and hearing Him speak, he believed the more and rested upon His Word. Now, having experienced the results of faith, the joy of our Lord's mercies, it is said, "Himself BELIEVED, and his whole house." He told them about Christ and they, too, believed.

(Vs. 54) The first miracle was turning water into wine; this was the second miracle. Later He performed many more (Matt. 4:23).

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.