Summary: Healing, miracle
FAITH MEETS SOCIAL DISTANCE (JOHN 4:45-54)
Here is purportedly Jesus' Report card from grade school...
GRADE TEACHERS COMMENT:
Religion: D To the question “Who made the world?” persisted in answering 'My dad'. Claims Bible originated from the same source.
English: D+ Tends to speak and write in archaic forms and uses outmoded figures of speech.
History: A Excellent pupil of ancient and Religious History.
Geography: C- Assignment on 'Hot, dry lands' was excellent, but shows little interest in the rest. In geology, keeps talking about the Rock of Ages
instead of the ages of Rock.
Social B+ Shows keen interest in social issues.
Mathematics: E Lacks basics. Keeps muttering about 'Three in one' and 'I and the father are one'.
CLASS TEACHERS COMMENT: This boy has a very unhealthy tendency to form gangs. He has organized twelve of his friends into a gang and is seen constantly in the company of the children of publicans and sinners. He needs to be more selective in his choice of friends. Also, he should learn to keep his hair at a tidy length and not wear sandals with the school uniform.
When Jesus began his ministry his town folks rejected him, so Jesus was more effective in nearby towns than his hometown. One of the clearest beneficiaries was Cana, where he previously turned water into wine (John 2). Depending on who you ask, Cana is 9 t0 15 miles from Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Jesus visited Cana the second time around because this nearby town could be important to spreading the gospel to his hometown folks.
What can you do for the salvation of family and friends who reject you? Why is preaching the gospel more than an action? How does the gospel transcend racial, cultural and social boundaries?
Resist Pride and Remain Humble
43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there. 46 Once more he 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. 47 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.
A man gave out tracts for years on a certain corner. Because there were no results, he gave it up. Five months later he saw a man giving out tracts on the same corner. Striking up a conversation, he learned that the man had been led to Christ through a tract given out there six months before.
The man explained, “Many a time I've come back to thank the man, but I never could find him. I concluded he must have died and gone to his reward, so I decided to take his place on the corner.”
While there are others who have found their calling, there are others who have lost their calling.
Jesus lived a lonely existence – lonelier than foxes and birds (Luke 9:57), but he never felt so lonesome as he was at home. The worst reception and rejection Jesus received was from his family and hometown folks. His brothers (four of them) ridiculed him in the imperative, “LEAVE Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, SHOW yourself to the world.” They simply did not believe in him. (John 7:3-5) When Jesus preached in his hometown synagogue, the local residents were amazed initially but they took offense later: “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” In the end Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matt 13:54-58)
Jesus’ treatment by Galileans, however, were different because of his first sign in Cana (John 2). The main reason the Galileans “welcomed/received” Him was that they were present at the wedding two chapters ago. One person, however, was not there – the royal official. The man who was from Capernaum missed Jesus two chapters ago (John 2:12). His son could be ill, he could be busy or he was not invited because he was not one of their kind. No matter the situation, the man traveled 20-25 miles from Capernaum to Cana.