Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

John 4:49-5:1
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 4:49-50
vs49-50: The man probably came to Cana more out of desperation than faith. He had heard reports about the miracles Jesus did in Jerusalem, and rumors may have reached him about all that had been happening in Judea for the past eight or nine months (Jn 4:1). So he came with the hope that this miracle-worker might be able to help when every other remedy had failed. But when he asked Jesus to come to Capernaum the Lord simply responded by telling him he had no faith. So he asked again, “Sir, come down before my child dies,” to which Jesus replied, “Go, your son lives.” No, He would not go and lay hands on the boy, but He would declare him well, and in doing so He dared this father to believe that his son was healed before he saw the miracle. And the man did. John says, “He believed the word which Jesus spoke to him, and he left” (literal).

Monday: John 4:51-52
vs51-52: It was about 20 miles from Cana to Capernaum, most of it downhill, which made it about a ten-hour walk. The man didn’t reach home that day. He probably spent the night on the trail and was still walking the next day when his servants met him. They were coming up to find him while he was coming down, and they brought joyful news: “The boy lives!” Then he asked them the critical question: “When? At what time did he start to get better?” The answer would confirm or deny his faith. Had the boy recovered naturally because his body finally overcame the disease, or was the power of the disease broken when Jesus spoke those words? The servant’s answer was precise and definite: “Yesterday, at the seventh hour (1:00pm) the fever left him” (literal).

Tuesday: John 4:53
v53: That was the exact moment when Jesus said, “Your son lives!” When the man heard their answer, his faith that Jesus could do a miracle turned into faith that Jesus was their Savior. So when he arrived home he didn’t merely rejoice in his son’s healing, he immediately began to proclaim his new faith to his whole household. He must have listened to Jesus in Cana while waiting for an opportunity to speak to Him and then on the way back to Capernaum reflected on what he’d heard because now he had faith in something much greater. He knew Jesus was more than a miracle-worker; He was the promised Savior. And John says his whole household believed with him.

Wednesday: John 4:54
v54: John is careful to tell us that this miracle was the second “sign” Jesus performed in Galilee. The first was turning water into wine (Jn 2:11). After that Jesus had left Galilee and gone to Jerusalem (Jn 2:12-13) and then ministered for a period of time in Judea (Jn 3:22; 4:3). So in effect this healing of the royal official’s son announces the return of Jesus to Galilee and the beginning of a new season of ministry. By identifying this miracle as a “sign” John is also emphasizing the spiritual message which it proclaimed. He wants us to recognize that it revealed Jesus’ true identity.

Thursday: John 4:54
v54 (continued): When we watch Jesus heal this boy we are seeing a practical application of the truth John stated in his introduction to his gospel. “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men” (Jn 1:4). All Jesus needed to do to rescue a child near death was to speak the words, “Your son lives!” and 20 miles away that child was healed instantly. John wants us to realize that we are watching a human being exercise a level of spiritual authority beyond anything ever seen before (1Ki 17:17-24; 2Ki 4:29-37). Jesus would soon describe His authority this way, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes” (Jn 5:21). In that same introduction John also told us that everything that has been created was created through Jesus (Jn 1:3), and by calling Him “the Word” John meant us to understand that it was the Son who actually spoke creation into existence at the leading of the Father (Jn 5:19). So when Jesus speaks in Cana and life enters a boy 20 miles away, we are seeing His authority as the Son of God in action.

Friday: John 5 Intro.
That sign led a royal official and his household to saving faith. They saw the greater truth to which the miracle pointed, and believed. But signs don’t always produce such faith. A person’s reaction still depends on the condition of their heart (Jn 3:19-21). As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, there are people who flee from the “light” when they see it because they don’t want to be confronted by their evil deeds (Jn 3:20). In this next passage (5:1-18) John shows us a man who responded badly. He too saw a sign, but when Jesus confronted him concerning his sin he angrily turned against Him (Jn 5:15).

Saturday: John 5:1
v1: John says, “After these things there was a feast of the Jews and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” He does not identify which feast this was. Had he said “the feast” we would have assumed he meant Passover (A. Plummer, John, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1893, p.131), but since he said only “a feast” we are left to guess. The most likely candidate, which takes place in the spring of the year, is Purim (Est 9:20-28). Purim (“Feast of Lots,” Est 9:24) is a joyous festival which remembers the deliverance of the Jews of Persia from the destruction planned by Haman, a royal official to the Persian king. It is described in the book of Esther as two days of “feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor” (Est 9:22). In the sequence of events which John presents to us it falls into the right place on the calendar: after Jesus’ trip through Samaria, four months before the harvest (Jn 4:35) (Dec/Jan), and before Passover (Jn 6:4) (Mar/Apr). And it’s almost certain this unnamed feast is not one of the fall festivals because John later describes Jesus going to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths (Jn 7:2) (Sept/Oct). 

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