Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sermon Oct. 28, 2007

John 4:46-54 Jesus remotely heals the nobleman's son in Cana.


  • Water into wine in John 2 - first of the miracles He did there (2:11)
  • Nathanael was from Cana

Between the wedding and the nobleman's son Jesus travels to Jerusalem for the Passover. He cleanses the temple and speaks with Nicodemus. He returns to Galilee from Jerusalem, Judah. Along the way, he stops to teach the woman at the Samaritan well. Verse 44 curiously reviews Jesus' statement, not otherwise cited in John, that a prophet is not honored in his home town. He used that in Nazareth. This is tied to the statement that Jesus left Samaria after two days. This must have been an indication that Jesus needed to move on to eventually reach Nazareth, so that He might be rejected there.

The nobleman was from Capernaum, at least that was where his son was sick. Capernaum was Jesus' home base after being rejected in Nazareth.

In v 54, is the first sign after coming back to Galilee unreported or is something different meant? Probably the best way to understand this is that Jesus returned from Jerusalem before He went to Cana and turned water into wine. Then He returned from Jerusalem (Judah) to Cana a second time and this is the time where He healed the nobleman's son.

Two main points to be observed are:

1- Instant remote miracle - proves Jesus is God.

2- Jesus statement that you won't believe unless you see signs.

Jesus performed a miraculous healing at at distance in an instant by just speaking the word.

What else about signs?

John 2:11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.

John 2:23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did.

John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."

Then in our text: John 4:48 Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe."

Note the theme that is developed here. Signs do prove that Jesus is God. Yet, the statement in our text is addressed to the nobleman. "Jesus said to HIM, unlesss YOU people..." Was he commenting on the people from His home town? Was He speaking of the stubbornness of the Galileans in general? Was it a comment on the way the nobleman asked? Was there some doubt in his voice. Example Mark 9:22-23.

Note 4:50 - the nobleman believed "the word" that Jesus spoke, that is, that his son lives. Note the present tense, that the NIV distorts to a future. He now lives. It is done, with a word. Later, 4:53, it says the nobleman believed and his whole household. Thus, the first occurrence of belief was probably limited just to the word that the son lives. The later occurrence is then left for believing the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the end, the signs did cause him to believe.

Towards the end of John, at the end of Chapter 20, he says: John 30-31 "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."