Lesson 22

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

4:43 After the two days he went forth from there and went into Galilee. 4:44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 4:45 So when he came into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went to the feast. 4:46 He came therefore again to Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 4:47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 4:48 Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way believe."

4:49 The nobleman said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 4:50 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 4:51 As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying "your child lives!" 4:52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." 4:53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." He believed, as did his whole house. 4:54 This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.

 Today's Lesson

Today's scripture is the second "sign" that Jesus accomplished in Galilee in the city of Cana. The first sign was to turn water into wine at a wedding. The Gospel of John does not record the miracles of Jesus in the same sense that the other gospels do. The miracles that are included are given as "signs", or to put it in another sense, evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. This sign, this miracle, is more typical of those of the Synoptic Gospels.


There was a certain nobleman, certainly a Jewish nobleman from the language used. His son was sick, near the point of death. We are not told what the illness was or how long the child had been ill. He comes to Jesus and begs that Jesus travel the twenty miles from Cana to Capernaum and heal his son. Jesus tells him, "Go your way. Your son lives." Returning home, the nobleman finds that the child recovered immediately at the very time that Jesus spoke with him in Cana.


There are several things that we must note about this incident. First, the nobleman had enough faith to approach Jesus on behalf of his son. It must have been difficult for this nobleman to approach a carpenter's son for help. He was probably a member of Herod's court. He had wealth and servants. But, in the face of illness for his beloved son, he was helpless. He had probably tried physicians; he had done everything that he could do and still his boy was getting worse.


But, then he hears about a carpenter from Nazareth that some are saying may be the Messiah. He goes to the man and begs him to return to Capernaum and help his boy. And even then, even after he had gone to this man and begged him to help, the man had refused to come back with him. He had only said, "Go your way. Your son lives."


It must have been tempting to give up hope, to give in to anger. But, this man did not give in to despair. He believed what Jesus had said to him. He clung to the hope that his son would live for the twenty miles back home. Even as he ran toward home, he continued to believe.


This is the hope that God offers to us. Even though our children are dying, God has sent His own Son to reach out toward us. If we would turn to Him by faith, God will say, "Go your way. Your son lives." If we would only turn our backs on our pride and our self-sufficiency and turn to Jesus of Nazareth, God would save us from the death and despair that this world can offer.


Are you willing to turn to Christ today? Are you willing to beg Him to save?


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