John 4:45-54 – The Nobleman from Capernaum

Dear Friends,

When we left off last week, Jesus had just left Samaria and made his way to Galilee, where He grew up, but a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Let’s see how it goes.

Give us understanding Lord, as we read your precious word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

John 4:45-54
45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

The Galilaeans received Jesus as someone who could perform miracles, unlike the Samaritans who received Him as the Christ, the Saviour of the world (v 42).

46 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.
47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea 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.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

I believe there is more going on here than meets the eye. People have a way of making deals with God, testing God, and even giving up on God if their prayers are not answered in the way they want. It looks to me like this nobleman may have told himself, If Jesus heals my Son, I will believe.

49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.

Perhaps the centurion in Matthew 8 heard what Jesus had done for the nobleman’s child. The centurion was also from Capernaum. I believe these two knew each other.

52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.

This may be a stretch, but I cannot help but think there are some parallels here with the wedding in Cana (v 46). For example, at the wedding feast, it was the servants who witnessed the miracle of the water turning into wine. Furthermore, John noted the days in Chapter 1 to make an allusion connecting the wedding on the seventh day to the marriage supper of the Lamb in the seventh millennium. Is it not possible that the seventh hour noted here is an allusion to the seventh millennium when the world will be healed of its fever? (Cf Rev 9:15; the word for and (Gk kai) can also be translated as ‘even’; eg Matt 5:46 et al)

53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

Unlike the rich young ruler in Mark 10, all Jesus asked of this ‘nobleman’ is that he believe. Maybe Jesus knew that the rich young ruller’s riches would destroy him. After he walked away, Jesus said Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! In any case, I think our story confirms that the standard is the same for everyone, simply believe. To the rich, however, the Bible says Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim 6:17-19)

54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
John 4:45-54


In Matthew 4, Matthew quotes Isaiah 9:1, 2:

…..The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;
…..The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Matthew 4:15, 16

Just as the prophet Isaiah saw 700 years beforehand (Isa 1:1), the nobleman and the centurion saw the power of the great light of Jesus to save a servant and a son from the shadow of death.

If you see what I see, that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are preparing to ride, then I hope you also see that Jesus is mighty to save those who are ready and to deliver us from the shadow of death as well. I believe the seventh hour in the narrative above is just one of several signs in scripture pointing to Jesus’ soon return. Just like the centurion and the nobleman, all we have to do is believe

Father, thank You for providing a great deliverance for us. Please account us worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before your Son, in Jesus’ name. Amen.