Verse of the Day Devotion: John 4:50
“Jesus said to him, go your way; your son lives. The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he started off.” – John 4:50
Over the next week we will be looking at seven miraculous signs performed by Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. These signs show that Jesus was not just some ordinary man but was truly the Son of God. The second sign which we will look at today is where He healed the son of a nobleman who was deathly ill.
In the beginning of the John chapter four, we find Jesus knew the pharisees were greatly irritated because Jesus was doing more than John the Baptist. “When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were.)” John 3:1-2. Many of the Jewish leadership were upset with John the Baptist and what he had done, and to find out Jesus was making more disciples than John had, they we more displeased with what Jesus was doing. And probably because of this He decided to go to Galilee and chose to go through Samaria and it is at this time that He ministered to the Samaritan woman at the well.
After this event with the Samaritan woman, Jesus arrives again in Cana, and there He meets a royal official of Rome, probably one connected by birth with Herod Antipas. Herod was tetrarch of Galilee from 4 BC to 39 AD and not properly a ‘king’ at all; but he was popularly considered one. “And King Herod heard of it, for His name had become well known; and people were saying, John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in Him.” Mark 6:14. This nobleman, finding out that Jesus was in Galilee, went to Him regarding his sick son asking for His help. “When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him, and was requesting Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.” John 4:47. Both here and in verse forty-nine this official is requesting Jesus come down and heal his son. It appears that he is approaching Jesus out of desperation, not concerned with who He was, but having heard that Jesus can perform miracles.
Now Jesus responds in a somewhat confrontational fashion. “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.” John 4:48. And this was not just intended toward this man, but to the Galileans as a whole. The Samaritans had believed without any miracle. The Galileans, he said, were less disposed to believe him than even they were and though he had performed miracles enough to convince them, yet, unless they continually saw them, they would not believe. Then in the next verse, He asks Jesus again. “Sir, come down before my child dies.” John 4:49. Then Jesus tells Him, “Go your way; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he started off.” John 4:50. This brings out an interesting thought. God may not do it how we want in answering our prayers, in this case having Him go home alone rather than Jesus going with him. As Colin G. Kruze writes, “It is also worth noticing that although Christ does not grant his desire, He gives him far more than he asked. For he receives the assurance that his son is even now well. So our heavenly Father often does not comply with our prayers in every detail but goes to work in an unexpected way to help us, so that we may learn not to dictate to Him in anything.”
The royal official, after hearing the words of Christ, headed back home. And while heading home, he was met by some of his slaves. “And as he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. 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. So, the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”; and he himself believed, and his whole household.” John 4:51-53.
This man’s son was healed. However, the story does not end there. John adds, so he and his whole household believed. His faith in the promise of Jesus concerning his son’s healing and seeing that faith rewarded led the official to greater belief in Jesus and resulted in his whole household coming to believe in him. And in those days, normally when the head of the house believed, the rest of the household followed. And I believe this was a reason Jesus performed this and other miracles, and this is a great example. The fact that the royal official and his household believed and exercised true faith in Jesus I believe shows this may be what John, in including this information, wanted his readers to understood.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.