Summary: Sermon #6 in the John series focuses on the nobleman in John 4 who desperately needed a healing for his son and sought it from Jesus
John’s Gospel #6 Believing is Seeing
CHCC: February 10, 2008
You’ve all probably heard the saying, “Seeing is Believing.” Well, the man we’re going to talk about today showed that in God’s Kingdom, the opposite is true. This man didn’t have to “see it to believe it.” For him … and for everyone who chooses to follow Jesus … Believing is Seeing.
This is the 6th sermon in a series we’re doing on the Gospel of John. The last two weeks, we talked about two conversations Jesus had early in his ministry. One was with Nicodemus in Judea. The next was with the Woman at the Well in Samaria. Today we’re going to look at another conversation … this time with a government official in Galilee.
Jesus and his disciples had returned to Galilee because the Jewish Religious Leaders around Jerusalem were looking for a way to arrest him. When they reached Galilee, Jesus immediately began to draw crowds. Many people in Galilee had been down to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.
And so, His reputation as a miracle-worker preceded him. As it happened, the reports about Jesus caught the attention of a high government official.
John 4: 46-47 says, Once more Jesus visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
The Greek word used to describe this man literally means “King’s man.” He was an officer of king Herod Antipas. Do you think this powerful, busy King’s Man would have walked the 20 miles from Capernaum to Cana in search of Jesus if his Son had not been deathly ill? I doubt it. It took a Critical Situation to motivate this nobleman to leave his home early one morning in search of a miracle.
1. The Value of a Critical Situation
This King’s Man was used to being in charge. A man in his position didn’t have to worry about how to take care of his family. He could get pretty much anything he wanted … any time he wanted it. If his wife or children had a need, he could fill it. He could buy them the best clothes, the best chariots, the best house. And if they were sick, he could afford the best doctors. But his money and political power were useless in the face of a sickness that threatened to kill his son.
How many people have turned to God when they hit bottom? That’s the value of a Critical situation. A terribly sick child or some other kind of dangerous situation can strip away the pride and self-satisfaction that holds us back from our Creator. After all, who else can we turn to when we desperately need something that no human being can give?
I’ve noticed that if we have the right attitude, those Critical Situations can be turning points in our lives. Most of my maturity came from hard situations I’ve been through. (Now, I know you’ve all wondered how I could have become so wise!) I’ve been through a lot of situations where I had to turn to God … because the outcome was not in my control. That’s when we really learn to trust God and to wait on His answers to our prayers. That’s when our personal connection with Christ can take hold and grow.
This “King’s Man” could have sent one of his many servants to find Jesus and bring him to Capernaum. But he was a DAD before he was an Official. So he came to Jesus personally and he begged him to come back with him and heal his son.
Jesus’ response was a surprise. It was not really an answer at all. He said, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe.” John 4:48
Jesus said this to the Official, but he was referring to the crowds around them. You see, Jesus was back on his home turf … in Cana, where he had turned water to wine. And Jesus knew that most of the people following him around were just wanting a show. They wanted to see more amazing supernatural feats.
But Jesus did not perform miracles in order to show off. He performed some miracles in order to give evidence that He truly was God’s son. But many other times, I think He performed miracles purely out of compassion. That’s why he often told the people he healed not to tell anyone about it. Jesus knew the Danger of people who were only Seeking Signs.
2. The Danger of Seeking Signs