John 4:39-41 says, "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, who testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought him that he would stay with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word." Everyone who believes in Jesus has a story to tell about their conversion and about what the Lord has done for them. The woman of Samaria had a story to tell, and because she told it, some of those who heard her story believed also. Other believed after they heard the words of Jesus for themselves. Itís not surprising that more believed when they heard Him than those who they heard the woman, because who has ever spoken the way that Jesus did? How fortunate were the people who lived during the time of Christ: not only did they have the opportunity to know the Word of God, just as we do today, but they also heard the Word of God from the lips of Jesus Himself. The compassion and the emotion and the godliness in itís greatest and most noble form must have been present in the voice of Jesus. Just to have heard His voice must have been astounding, let alone the content of what He had to say.
John 4:42 says, "And they said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." These Samaritans had a tremendous insight into the true nature of who Jesus was. Even though they were Samaritans, that did not present an obstacle to them believing on Jesus as the Christ, knowing that He was a Jew. The prejudices of the culture in which they lived did not prevent them from crossing racial barriers. They knew that the Messiah was not just for the Jews, but was to be the Savior of the world, and that meant that He was their Savior also.
John 4:43-45 says, "Now after two days He departed from there, and went into Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet has no honor in his own country. Then when He was come into Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast." These verses are an explanation of why Jesus did not go to Nazareth, and they are also an explanation of how He was received in Galilee as a whole. The principle that a prophet has no honor in his own country applied even to Jesus. The more familiar that people are with you, the more likely that they will be to think: that person could not possibly have a message from God; I know them, I see them go to work, and mow their lawn. They could not possibly have a message from God, because they are just ordinary people. But God uses ordinary people. Thatís probably one of the reasons that Jesus worked with His hands as a carpenter until He was thirty years old, and why He picked fishermen and other ordinary men to be His disciples. God is emphasizing the fact that He uses ordinary people: people like you and I.
But even though Jesus was not well received in Nazareth, He was very well received in the region of Galilee. Jesus spent most of His three years in Galilee. He spent most of His time with those who received His message well, and Jesus spent a lot less time with those who were hard of heart, and who had no faith in Him, or who wanted to oppose Him. Who should you speak to about the Lord? Follow the example of Jesus, and go to those who want to listen and who want to hear. Remember it was Jesus who said, "Do not cast your pearls before swine." That is, donít waste your time telling the wonderful things of the Kingdom of God to those who do not want to hear. Instead, find those who do want to hear, and tell them.
John 4:46-48 says, "So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal 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 said unto him, Sir, come down or my child will die."
The reason that Jesus healed the sick was to prove that He was the Son of God. And there was another reason: because He had compassion for those around Him and He could not say no to a request for help. There are several spiritual lessons to be found in this incident. The noblemanís son was at the point of death, and therefore the nobleman was desperate and he came to Jesus because he had no where else to go. One of the good and potentially positive reasons for the trials and sorrows that come into our lives is to remind us that we need to trust in the Lord. How unfortunate is the person who has only had good things happen to them: they will be tempted to think that the good things happened only by their own efforts, and tempted to think that things will be alright if they continue to rely only upon themselves. Maybe thatís why Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted."
The nobleman also came to Jesus because he knew that Jesus could help his desperate situation. His faith was in Jesus. In some important ways our situations are the same as that of the nobleman. The best solution and the correct solution for your sorrows and your trials can also be found in Jesus. If you come to Jesus and ask Him for help, you also will find Him to be a kind and compassionate friend: you will find grace to help in time of need.
The nobleman came to Jesus to seek help for his son. There may be no greater human suffering than that which a parent may have to suffer because of what happens to their child. Certainly God understands this kind of suffering: He watched His Son die on the cross for the sins of the world. But when the nobleman came to Jesus on behalf of his son, we are told that in a miraculous way, Jesus reached across space and distance and touched the body of the young boy and he was healed. With God all things are possible. Every person needs to be touched by Jesus in order to be whole. The spiritual needs that everyone has are much more critical than the physical needs. Have you consulted with Dr. Jesus? You cannot be made whole until you do.
John 4:50-54 says, "Jesus said unto him, Go your way, your son lives. 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, your son lives. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to get better. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was in the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Your son lives: and he believed and his entire house believed. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee."
Verse 50 says that the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him. The man originally came to Jesus out of desperation, and he came putting what faith he had in the ability of Jesus to help him. Then, it was the words of Jesus that strengthened his faith. It was the words of Jesus that comforted him and that gave him the assurance that he could face his troubles. The same principle of faith still applies today. Someone comes to Jesus because they recognize a need that they have that no one else can satisfy except Jesus, and they have a spiritual experience in this personal meeting with Jesus. But in order for them to grow in faith, and in order for them to be strengthened in their faith, they must hear the words of Jesus. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Has some trial or some difficulty come into your life with the potential of harming you or even crushing you? You need to do what the nobleman did: bring your burdens to Jesus, and then listen to the words of Jesus about the power of God, the love of God, and the ability of God to conquer every difficulty and to give you courage for every trial. Did not Jesus say, "In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Notice the emphasis that the Apostle John made concerning this miracle of healing the noblemanís son. He said in John 4:54, "This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judea into Galilee." John pointed out earlier that the first miracle was also in the town of Cana. One way of looking at the Gospel of John is to see it organized around some of the miracles that Jesus did. The reason that Jesus did the miracles and the reason that John recorded them for us, was to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Anyone who is seeking the truth about who Jesus really is can find it, especially if they will read the Gospel of John. The things that Jesus did, prove His true nature.
John 5:1-6 says, "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people: the blind, the lame, the withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and moved the water: who ever then first after the moving of the water stepped in, was made whole of whatever disease he had. And a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been a long time in that condition, he said unto him: Will you be made whole?"
Again we find a human who is in a condition where no other human can help him. If he is going to be helped, the help must come from God. The question that Jesus asked this man reveals the essential element to a person finding help from God or not. Jesus asked the man, "Will you be made whole?" In the Greek that does not mean, Do you want to be made whole; but it means, Are you resolved to be made whole? Itís an emphasis on the will of man, and the critical factor that the will of man plays in determining a personís relationship with God. First, Jesus came to the man; but then the man had to respond by an act of his will, by a choice. There is an old hymn that expresses this sentiment. Several of the lines start with the phrase, "I am resolved..." Part of the first line says, "I am resolved no longer to linger charmed by the worldís delight..." And the second says, "I am resolved to go to the Savior, leaving my sin and strife..." Jesus asked the man at the pool of Bethesda if he was resolved, and the answer to the same question will play a great part in determining your true spiritual condition. You wonít survive spiritually in this world unless you have the same kind of resolve to go to the Savior no matter what happens to you.
John 5:7-9 says, "The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is moved, to put me into the pool; but while I am coming, another steps down before me. Jesus said to him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath." Jesus spoke and the man was healed. The similarity to the creation is not just a coincidence. He spoke and the winds obeyed him. He spoke and the bacteria were destroyed more effectively than any antibiotic has ever done. Some day He will again speak and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that He is Lord.
The healing of this man was done on the Sabbath day. John 5:10-13 says, "The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the Sabbath day: itís not lawful for you to carry your bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up your bed and walk. Then they asked him, What man said to you, Take up your bed and walk? And he that was healed knew not who it was, because Jesus had gone away: a multitude being in that place." The Jews were the enforcers of the law and the protectors of the law. The lives of people were manipulated and controlled by the ways in which the Jewish leaders enforced the law in that Jewish society. One of the things about the law that they enforced very strictly was in regards to what could be done and what could not be done on the Sabbath day. In contrast to this restrictive and legalistic view of the Sabbath day, Jesus often did the same things on the Sabbath that He did on other days. Jesus would help someone who needed help and He would heal someone who needed healing no matter what day of the week that it was. This attitude of Jesus brought Him immediately into conflict with the Jewish leaders. One of the elements of false religion will often be a restrictive and legalistic attitude towards human behavior. In contrast to this, true religion will always be characterized by a tremendous freedom: freedom to do what is right and freedom to do what is good. Jesus said, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." He also said, "Take my yoke upon you because my yoke is easy and my burden is light." If something is good to do on Monday or Tuesday, then it is also good to do on Saturday or Sunday.
John 5:14 says, "Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto you." It can be inferred from what Jesus said that whatever physical ailment this man had was a result of some sin that he had previously committed. We do not know what the sin is, because that is not important for us to understand what is being taught. There are consequences to actions. For every action, there is a reaction. Whatever a person sows that shall they reap. Many of the things that have happened to you in your life are simply a result of your own actions and your own behavior. If you want to change what happens to you, if you want to change your destiny, then change your behavior. Itís the principle of repentance. Jesus said to the man, "Sin no more." No one can ask for forgiveness unless they also intend to stop doing that sin. But just like this man, we also have sinned and our sins have the power to destroy us. The good news is that Jesus can also heal our souls by His power to forgive.
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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