8 July 2014

John 4:43-54

“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.’ (v. 50)


One of the enduring themes and aims of John's Gospel is believing. It is unashamed about wanting to challenge people about what they believe, and to get them to believe in Jesus. What we believe is important. I work in a school in Grenada where many of the children believe that they are rejects from other schools, and so their attitude and behaviour often finds accordance with that mind set. Much of my work is to challenge that belief and that can be a difficult process.

In today's passage this healing is preceded by two statements about the general view in Galilee about Jesus: "the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done" (v. 45) and the mention in verse 46 of how he changed the water in to wine (John 2:1-12). In Galilee it seems as if Jesus was welcomed for his miracles. The belief of people was not in him or in his teaching, but in the signs and wonders that came with him. As the man comes to Jesus to ask for healing for his son, Jesus' response may, at first, seem uncaring or even reluctant to act. Jesus challenges the belief of the man, probably a non-Jew, asking where was his belief? Did he just see Jesus as a miracle worker like the majority of Galileans? The challenge of Jesus forces the man in to a decision about what and who he believes in, and because of his love for his son, the man persists in petitioning Jesus to come. At Jesus' word of healing (verse 50) the man believes, and he starts a journey back home. This is a journey that culminates with the realisation of physical healing for his son. It is also a spiritual journey that culminates in a confirmation of his belief in Jesus' word, not only for him but for his whole household.

To Ponder

  • How has Jesus challenged you to more authentic belief in ways that seem perplexing at first?
  • What beliefs do you have in God or about yourself that are challenged by Jesus' words and love for you?

Bible notes author

Dr Andy Dye

Andy Dye is a mission partner for the Methodist Church in Britain serving with the Methodist Church in Grenada, South Caribbean. He has a background in science, science teaching and mission work.