Read John 4:43
43 At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee.
*What do you think Jesus and his disciples did in those 2 days?
Jesus was in Samaria and went to Galilee, about 20 miles away
Read John 4:44&45
44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
*Where was Jesus from? Nazareth – the town right next to where they were going, Galilee
The Galilee was the northern most part of Judea. Jews in Jerusalem held it low regard. Later in John’s Gospel we’ll here the Pharisees dismiss Jesus as Messiah by saying that no prophet ever arises out of the Galilee or Nazareth- actually untrue, not in any of the prophecy. Jews in Jerusalem were self-important, elitist and privileged – Which is exactly why Jesus spent most of His time ministering in the soft hearts of the Galileans
*Why do you think a prophet is not honored in his hometown? It would be like if you had a famous relative, they are still you relative, no big deal. They knew Jesus as a boy, and could not believe because he grew up poor.
*Anybody remember when had Jesus testified, “a prophet has no honor in his own country”? When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:54-58)
*Do you think that is why you do not see God’s spirit move in Western nations, unbelief?
*So why did the Galileans receive Him this time? John 4:45 says that some of them had seen His miracles in Jerusalem.
*Are they now true followers of Jesus?
Not necessarily, but they’re interested in Him doing some miracles for them too. There is a difference between a follower and a consumer of Jesus.
Read John 4:46
46As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.
*Who do you think this official was?
A royal official would mean some someone who is in service to a king. And in this time and place, that would have to mean someone who served Herod Antipas, the self-appointed King of Judea
*Think this guy was Gentile or Jewish?
Read John 4:47&48
47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
*Know anything about Capernaum? Capernaum was the seat of Roman rule in Judea, so it would make sense that the official lived there. It’s also a considerable distance from Cana, about 17 miles.
*Why did Jesus ask that? Most likely this was a Jewish official. He came a long way. He wanted Jesus to go back with him. If he had faith in Jesus he did not have to have him go back with him. In fact, he wouldn’t have needed to make the trip himself. He could have just prayed for healing from his child’s bedside. If you feel the need to make the trip and bring Jesus back with you, then it suggests you need to see physical proof, a sign of Jesus’ power. That’s what Jesus means when he says these people are consistently seeking physical signs to bolster their faith
*Is it one thing to believe that Jesus could heal, but it’s another to believe that Jesus is God? If a person is healing with God’s power he has to be there. If God is just healing, then the healer does not have to be there. So, belief in Christ’s healing power from a distance became a distinguishing characteristic of true faith.
*We do not have Jesus here physically, but what are our obstacles in believing in Jesus’ healing power?
*What are ways we have to believe and walk today? Saving faith is always a confidence in things hoped for, and a conviction in things unseen. Today, we hope for the resurrection that follows our death. And though we haven’t seen these things come to pass as yet, we still maintain that confidence because we have faith in the word of God.
Read John 4:49&50
49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
*How hard it is to believe and go home? Jesus hasn’t given him the sign he required, that is Jesus didn’t travel and heal the son in the man’s presence. Instead, Jesus made a declaration to test the man’s faith. He truly believes his son has been healed by the word of Christ. If he had any doubt at all, he wouldn’t have left Jesus to walk 17 miles back to Capernaum.
Read John 4:51-54
51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.
*How long would it take to walk 17 miles? Maybe 8 hours, cannot walk at night. This was the next morning when he got home.
*When the man hears the news, he immediately asks when the son was healed, why? To test Jesus’ words in that sense, he continues to seek for a sign.
The suddenness of the healing was remarkable, such that the servants knew the exact moment it occurred
*How is this sign different from the sign of wanting Jesus to be there?
A sign can be a useful and healthy support to faith when it follows faith. The Lord grants us such a confirming sign in the way we receive the Holy Spirit after faith. But when we seek signs in advance of faith, it is proof that we lack faith altogether. And our request for signs becomes a barrier to faith, not a means to it. The sign of the instant healing caused the man’s faith to grow strong and assured. From this point forward, he would never have doubted in Jesus’ word or claims.
*What more can we do with stronger faith? When you have a faith that is strong and confident, you are in a position to share that faith with others in a convincing manner.
You move to a contagious faith. That is why we hear that the man’s household believed.
*Is the Bible declaring that because one member of the family believes, then automatically all members will believe? We can find many examples of families where one member comes to faith but no one else follows. Instead, John is simply emphasizing the strength of this man’s faith. And of course, they saw the healing as well, which no doubt bolstered their faith as well.
*How does this miracle relate to the first miracle of water into wine?
The ministry began somewhat prematurely with his mother seeking a miracle to save a wedding host from embarrassment. And it ends with a father seeking Jesus to heal his son. The first sign is done in private but causes the disciples to believe. And the second sign is done in private and causes the official’s family to believe. But together they show the deity of Jesus. His creative power is on display in the water and wine, His authority over the temple and in teaching were evident in Jerusalem and with Nicodemus, His omniscience was evident with the Samaritan woman, And His healing power over time and space was evident with the official’s son.
* When you were growing up, did you have a serious illness that concerned your parents?
* Have you ever made a passionate plea of desperation? If it was answered, how did you feel? If it is not answered yet, do you keep complaining or do you trust and make your need known in respect and hope? How do you suppose that father felt?
* Why do you suppose the Galileans were welcoming? Why do some people just want a show of signs and wonders without the real Wonder that goes with it?
* How has Jesus lifted you out of the darkness and despair of your life to a new life filled with wonder and hope? How can you share this with someone else?