Key Text: Jn. 4:43-54
John the Immersionist has been imprisoned by King Herod Antipas and Jesus reiterates His message about repentance and the nearness of God’s Kingdom. Mk 1:14. He is back in Cana and from 18 miles away in Capernaum a nobleman (a royal courtier) searched for Jesus, desperate for help with his dying son. The mother might have been Joanna (Herod Antipas’ servant Lk. 8:3) if this is true, then the Nobleman’s name is Chuza. This is probably the first indirect connection Herod Antipas has with Jesus. But even with John imprisoned, the nobleman is eager to find Jesus whom John has been preaching about. Remember the last Biblical note of the Herodian Family was at Jerusalem during the slaughter of the innocent baby boys. That was Herod, the Great. The Father of this Herod Antipas which imprisoned John the Immersionist.
Jesus was on the brink of mass popularity now, v45, and the news of his purge of the Temple has spread quickly, far and wide. The Galileans rejoiced in and received Jesus because finally they knew someone with miraculous power had started their leaders in Jerusalem to think about a change! Quite a few Samaritans had already rumored Jesus was the Messiah, now the Galileans are getting excited about the real possibility.
The expression of discontentment from Jesus in v48 is a warning to everyone in a position of power, to never base their faith in Jesus simply because He can wield physical power through miracles. Today, our common power in the world is money. To apply this truth of Jesus to our lifestyle, is to pray for wisdom to use the money we have, not to pray for more of it! See 1st Tim. 6:10 & Jas. 4:3-4. This means God is not an emergency button for relief in a crisis, neither is he a test button to see if he will help and give us evidence for our faith to exist. Jesus wants our faith to be in His words and character. There is a big difference between believing in the man and believing in his credentials, Jn. 6:11-29 & 10:37 39. The credentials point to the character, God wants our faith to be in Jesus as the God-Man of Forgiveness and God’s Ruling Word & Will, not the Miracle-worker of mere compassion or special favors for people of notoriety.
Truly the nobleman’s faith was in what Jesus said, which was an object lesson for all those around, he didn’t have to see anything, v50. Will we let what Jesus says be true and live like God will keep every promise in His word? Do we really believe that he is gone to prepare a place for each of us forever in eternal bliss? Jn 14:1 3. Abram believed and at the point of belief, which was expressed by obedience, he was given God’s righteousness, Gen. 15:7, 22:18. The Nobleman’s faith grew from his expression of trust in the mere words of Jesus. The journey back to a sick son, affected his household, see v47-50. In the same way the Samaritan Woman’s expression of trust in the words of Jesus bore faith in the villagers of Sychar. Does our expression of trust in the words of Jesus reproduce faith in our family and friends?
The second sign was that it pointed people to faith in the words of Jesus. His words and nature were limitless and overcame sickness alleviating the fear of our biggest enemy, death! The 1st sign spoke of God’s power in Jesus over creation, speeding up nature’s time in growth of the water into juice. Now this 2nd sign speaks of God’s power over the human problem of illness, speeding up nature’s time in healing. This put the character of Jesus as a man who keeps his word against all odds. Do we live like Jesus means what He says to us? His miracles confirmed His word, will & identity, not vice-versa! Mk. 16:20.