The Nobleman

John 4:46-54 …And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heals his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe. The nobleman say unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son live. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son live. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son live: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee. 

The nobleman was either an officer or prince, (Acts 12:20-21; Jas. 2:8) one of the royal family or an officer of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. This was not the same miracle like that of the centurion’s servant in Matthew 8:5-12 and Luke 7:1-10. The two miracles differ as to time, place, plea, the Lord’s answer, and the man’s faith, as can be seen from a comparison.

‘Except you see signs and wonders, you will not believe’ – a statement showing the lack of absolute faith that the centurion of Matthew 8 demonstrated. Signs and wonders are given to make believers (Mark 16:15-20; John 5:20-36; 9:3-4; 10:25-38; 14:10-15). This is why Jesus went with him. If he did not at first believe, he did after Jesus gave him the promise of verse 50. Wanting to see works is nowhere condemned. It is when they are done and men still reject God that judgment will fall (Mat. 11:20-23; Luke 10:13).

‘Thy son lives’ – is the seventh New Testament prophecy fulfilled in John. ‘And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him and he went his way.’ – This, after all, is faith (Rom. 4:17; 10:17; Heb. 11:1). When faith is truly exercised one can go his way in absolute assurance that the work is done. Note that no definite prayer was given; merely a prophecy and a promise.

‘Began to amend’ – One of the most used scriptures today by certain ones who pray for the sick. It is said that Jesus did not always heal instantly, but sometimes gradually, so we are not always to expect an instantaneous healing. This is not the truth. It not only belittles the work of Christ but demonstrates that some teachers have no faith for an instantaneous miracle. This boy was healed the very hour Jesus said he would live (John 4:53) without medicine. If men today can get healing this quickly it will be like that which Jesus gave.

‘Whole house’ – If whole houses are saved, then they must all believe and be prepared to serve God. God saves no one on the faith of others.

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