The Third Sign: Healing the Nobleman's Son (John 4:43-54)
First Scripture Reading: Isaiah 61:1-11
Second Scripture Reading: John 12:20-50
Sermon Text: John 4:43-54
Near the end of his Gospel, John the Evangelist gives us the purpose of his writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). The first sign John recored was the water turned to wine. The second was the clearing of the temple. And in John 4:43-54, we read about the third sign—the healing of the nobleman’s son. Each of these signs authenticated Jesus’ ministry by revealing his glory. The glory Jesus revealed in healing the nobleman’s son is a foretaste of the spiritual restoration he would bring to his people through the cross. It pointed to the greater blessing of regeneration, and also to the new heaven and the new earth, where Jesus reigns and where “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
- For review, read John 4:27-42. What is the significance of the title the Samaritans ascribe to Jesus as the “Savior of the world” in verse 42 when you take into account the context of this story and the hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans?
- Review our First Reading from Isaiah 61, a passage that describes the Messianic Age. Jesus read a portion of this passage in Luke 4:16-21 and concluded by saying: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” What are some of the blessings Isaiah records and how were they fulfilled in Jesus’ ministry?
- What was Jesus lamenting in John 4:48, where he said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe”? Read and consider the Apostle Paul’s explanation in 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 about the danger of seeking signs and wonders. How has this problem affected some churches?
- In contrast with the other Galileans who came to see Jesus, what was different about the nobleman’s faith according to John 4:50? How was his faith similar to what Jesus experienced in Samaria? In what sense did their faith serve as a judgment against many in Israel?
- What do we learn about the importance of faithfulness as parents in light of John 4:53? What other examples can you think of in Scripture where the faithfulness of one or both parents led to blessings upon their household?
- In preparation for next week, read John 5:1-18. What are some of the reasons given in the text to explain why the religious leaders were growing in their opposition to Jesus? What do you think this miracle reveals about Jesus?
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