Title: The Messiah’s authority to heal
Scriptures to Read: Read John 4:46-54
The second of John’s seven signs
This healing miracle is only recorded in John, and is his second of seven signs.
The nobleman’s request
In verse 46 Yeshua returns to Cana of Galilee where He made the water into wine. So this is His second trip to this community. A man comes up to Jesus from Capernaum saying that his son is at the point of death. He asks Jesus to come down with him to Capernaum to heal his son (that is about 20 miles or 32 kilometres away). This man was a nobleman. A nobleman was a king’s officer for Capernaum. So this was an officer of King Herod Antipas because Galilee was his region to control.
The journey of the nobleman
However, to fully appreciate the effort of this man’s journey, consider that it was all uphill from Capernaum to Cana. Capernaum is set on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee and was 600 ft below sea level while Cana is set about 1500 ft above sea level. This means that it was a good 20-mile uphill walk which demonstrates the effort and faith on this man’s part.
Yeshua tests the nobleman’s faith
In verse 48 Yeshua gives a hard response to the nobleman’s request, to test him, “Except ye see signs and wonders, you will in no wise believe.” The KJV translation makes it clear that Jesus addressed His question to the nobleman alone. Yeshua wants to know if he needs to see a sign or wonder to believe. In other words, “Did you come to be convinced to believe or did you come because you believe already?” In verse 49 the man’s answer seems to imply that he did not require any signs or wonders to believe that Yeshua can heal. Notice he is not asking for a sign to be convinced. He is fully convinced that Yeshua is who He claims to be.
The nobleman believes in the word of Yeshua
The man’s response to Yeshua’s words is belief, and he turned and went his way. His faith was in Yeshua’s word and promise of healing. The nobleman on his return home to Capernaum is met by his servants and they tell him that his son lives. The nobleman asked them of the time of his son’s healing and they said at the seventh hour (7 PM Roman time, Jewish time would be 1 PM) yesterday, so he knew it was the very hour that Yeshua told him. It is also very possible that the nobleman stayed over in Cana for the night and did not rush off, to return to his home. If that’s the case it also shows faith. Yeshua asked him to believe without signs and wonders or even His presence and he did. As a result of this second sign that he performed the man’s whole household believed Jesus’ messianic claims.