Summary: Sometimes, our troubles and trials are there to bring us to Jesus. If it hadn’t been for the terminal sickness of his son, this nobleman never would have come to Jesus
I make no claims as this being an original sermon as I have read and studied multiple accounts, some on Sermon Central in the development and flow of this message.
TITLE: GROWING OUR FAITH
SCRIPTURE: ST. JOHN 4:46-53
Before we deal with this text there is one area I would like shine some light upon. Some say or would suggest to us, this narrative is another version of the healing of the Centurion’s servant as recorded in St. Matthew 8:5-13 -- Although there are some similarities there are more differences between that text and our text read this morning. I want to point out a few of these differences:
• The Centurion was a Gentile - the Nobleman appears to be Jewish
• The Centurion’s slave suffered from a paralysis - the Nobleman’s son was ill with a fever
• The Centurion is in Capernaum - the Nobleman is in Cana
• The Centurion’s faith wins Jesus’ praise - the Nobleman and others are rebuked for a deficient faith
• The Centurion urges Jesus not to come, but only to speak the word - the Nobleman urges Jesus to come
• The Centurion has Jewish elders to plead his case - the Nobleman pleads with Jesus personally
Let’s take a look this morning at this subject of ‘Growing Our Faith’ - in particular we will examine the events surrounding this Nobleman of Capernaum.
• Jesus had been in Cana earlier, where He performed the miracle of turning water into wine at the marriage feast
• From there, He went to Jerusalem, where he drove the money-changers and merchants out of the Temple
• While in Jerusalem, He had an encounter with Nicodemus
• On His way back to Cana, He passed through Samaria, where He had an encounter with the Woman at the Well
• Now Jesus is back in Cana and He is apparently speaking to a crowd of people
A Nobleman interrupts Jesus while He is speaking to the crowd. Who is this Nobleman?
• He was a high ranking official
• A royal officer who served under King Herod
• He may have even been related to King Herod
• He was a rich and powerful Jew
• A man of great means and influence
He also had a Problem. His son was sick and dying. He had probably gone to the best physicians for help but there was nothing they could do for him. He had exhausted all resources. There was nothing he could do, but sit by the bedside of his son, and watch him grow worse by the hour. Up to this point, he probably hadn’t known what it was like to be in need.
• The twenty miles from Capernaum to Cana was not the only distance the nobleman had to cross
• He had to cross an even greater distance socially
• He a nobleman had to lower himself to seek help from a HUMBLE VILLAGER – CARPENTER – ITINERANT PREACHER
VS. 47 We find a very interesting word – “HEARD” – This Nobleman had “HEARD” about Jesus. The Nobleman lived in “Capernaum” - about 20 miles away. Jesus had stayed there after He performed the miracle at Cana. Maybe it was here that he had heard about what Jesus had just done in Cana. I don’t know about you but turning Water into Wine would have gained my attention.
This Nobleman interrupts Jesus as He’s teaching, and begs Him to come with him to Capernaum and heal his son. Think what the crowd must have thought! A Nobleman - begging! Jesus is a Jewish Rabbi - a carpenter. This rich, influential, powerful man may have been on his knees, and begging Jesus to stop in the middle of his sermon, and go with him to Capernaum. There are several things I want to note here -- FIRSTLY -- TROUBLE LED HIM TO JESUS. He had tried everything else. Nothing had worked. Now he was going to try Jesus, as his last resort.
Sometimes, our troubles and trials are there to bring us to Jesus. If it hadn’t been for the terminal sickness of his son, he never would have come to Jesus.
• Sometimes, it takes something drastic in our lives before we will see the need to come to Jesus
• He has nowhere else to turn
• But, what’s the alternative?
• Sitting by your son’s bed, and watching him die?
• It’s sad to say, but some people choose the alternative, and never come to Jesus
The text informs us, he personally went to Jesus. Being a Nobleman, he could have sent a servant. But, this was such a personal matter to him, that he went himself.
• You can have people praying for you
• You can be on every prayer list in every church in the county