Today, our church will head to a local elementary school to impart the Holy Word of God with public school children. We have a “Good News Club” that meets weekly. We are studying the miracles of Jesus in the Gospel of John. Each week, we focus on a different miracle performed by Jesus to learn why He performed the miracle and what the results were. In our first meeting, we studied the miracle of turning the water into wine at the wedding of Cana of Galilee. During the first lesson, we began to memorize John 3:16. The key to this verse is “faith“. In fact, the Gospel writer John, explains why Jesus performed His miracles and why he (John) chose to compile them in his Gospel.
30 Therefore many other miracles Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have eternal life in His name. (John 20)
When we read about the miracles that Jesus performed, this leads us to place our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, or in other words, the long awaited Savior of the world. We also believe that Jesus is God, the Son. Upon placing our faith in these truths about Jesus, we have eternal life in Him. The first miracle performed by Jesus led to a very specific result.
This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)
The disciples believed in Jesus. They placed their faith in Him as the Messiah, the Savior. They trusted that He (Jesus) is God in the flesh. The second lesson focused on the miracle of “being born again“. The third lesson was all about Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus performed the miracle of changing her life. She placed her faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Her life was never the same. This week, our focus is on the healing of the royal official’s son. This miracle takes place in the Gospel of John, chapter four. It happens soon after Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well.
I. Physical Need
We live in the physical world. When things are going well for us physically, it is easy to move through life on autopilot. I remember when I was a child, I would hear adults say things like, “where did the last 20 years go?” That sounded so strange to me because it took forever for birthdays to come and holidays like Christmas. As I have aged, I have caught myself saying things like, “where did the last year go?” Time creeps past us at an alarming rate when things are going well for us physically. When physical need hits us, time seems to stop. This is the context of Jesus’ encounter with the royal official.
46 Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum.
47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and was imploring Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. (John 4)
Up until this moment in the royal official’s life, things were going well and he was not very interested in encountering Jesus. Now, his son is sick and dying. The royal official does not know what to do. He has a huge physical need and that need causing him to pause and seek Jesus. As humans, we should seek Jesus, God in the flesh, no matter what is happening in our lives but, the reality is, it often takes a gut punch to wake us up out of autopilot to seek Jesus.
So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.” (John 4:48)
The royal official’s greatest problem was not the impending death of his son. His greatest problem was that he had yet to place his trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. This physical need woke him up. Jesus points out the royal official’s greatest need immediately upon gaining his attention.
The royal official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” (John 4:49)
The royal official still does not understand his greatest need. Jesus is leading him to the purpose of the miracle, to produce faith in Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, the Savior of the world. What about you, my dear friend, are you on autopilot? Are you seeking Jesus above all else in this life? Are you in the midst of a physical crisis? Do you realize that your greatest need is not physical but spiritual? Have you responded to Jesus’ miracles by placing your faith in Him as God in the flesh, the Savior of the world? What stops you?
II. Spiritual healing
In the previous section, we saw Jesus lead the royal official to the point of belief. This man’s greatest need is spiritual. He has yet to place his trust in Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. (John 4:50)
There were no flashing lights and thunder claps. Jesus, the One who spoke creation into existence through His powerful Word, simply spoke, saying that the royal official’s son was healed. How is this man going to respond? Does he need proof or is he willing to trust the Word of God? The text explains that this royal official believed the Words of Jesus Christ. What faith!
51 As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living.
52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” (John 4)
The man’s faith did not heal his son. Jesus healed him. The royal official simply believed the Word of God. Faith is not a force of healing. Faith was the royal official’s response to the eternal Word of God! Have you placed your faith in Christ based on the eternal Word of God? Are you ready to trust Jesus no matter what? What keeps you from having the faith that this royal official had? How do we know that this man’s life was transformed because of his faith in Jesus Christ? The proof is in the text. Let’s continue to read this passage.
III. A Family Transformed
As human beings, we are able to wear masks in public, showing people what we want them to see about us. You have probably experienced a situation like the following. You are in a heated argument with your spouse. You have said things that you will regret later. You are in the middle of giving a tongue lashing. Then the phone rings and it is someone from church. When you answer that phone, all of a sudden, your words become softer and more chipper. Have you ever been there? We all have this tendency. You may be able to fool the outside world but, you are not able to wear that mask around your family. They see the real you, warts and all. Look at how the royal official’s family responds to his faith in Jesus Christ.
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 4:53)
The royal official took the Gospel of Jesus Christ back to his family and they saw the change in him. They also placed their faith in Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, the Savior of the world. The greatest miracle in this passage is not the healing of the royal official’s son. The greatest miracle in this passage is the spiritual healing of an entire family! Have you taken the Gospel to your family? Have they seen the change in your life? How have the members of your family responded to the Gospel?
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