John 4:43-54 (ESVST)
After the two days he departed for Galilee.
Here we see now Jesus leaving Samaria where he was invited to stay by the Samaritans after they believed. Jesus as initially intended, is now leaving for Galilee. Remember that when he left Jerusalem, that was his intention to go to Galilee but had to go via Samaritan.
44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.)
Jesus said this when he was at Nazareth, his hometown after he was rejected there. Mat 13:53-58.
45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.
This verse starts with the word “So”, indicating that Jesus is contrasting the belief of the Samaritans with that one of Galileans. The Samaritans believed because of the word of God but the Galileans were believing because of that signs and miracles that he was doing. The only reason why they welcome him was because of all the signs and miracles he did in Jerusalem. They saw the signs and miracles that Jesus did because they were also in Jerusalem.
46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
Jesus again went to Cana where he changed the water to wine before, at a nearby town of Carpenaum, there was an official whose son was ill and according to the official, he was at the point of death. This official on hearing that Jesus had come, he went from Carpenaum to Cana to ask him to come to Capernaum and heal his son.
48 So Jesus said to him, “ Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
Again here Jesus questions the official’s belief as a belief only based on signs and wonders and not a true belief. This is a false belief.
49 The official said to him, “ Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “ Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
It was as if Jesus had said nothing. The official just kept on saying Sir, come down to heal my son. The official believed that Jesus would heal his son, however, he did not believe that Jesus was the sons of God, the Christ. All the official believed was that this man can heal my son because of the sings and wonders he did in Jerusalem.
Jesus then said to him, go, your son will live. The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he went back to Capernaum.
51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “ Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “ Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
On his way back to Capernaum, the official’ servant met with him and told him that his son was recovering. The official asked what time did he begin to get better and when they told him, he realized that, that is when Jesus had said to him your son will get better. He then believed and all his household. What is the difference between this two beliefs?nothing!
He believed first when Jesus told him to go and that his son will live and now after seeing that indeed the son was healed by Jesus, he confirms his belief and now believes with all his household. Unlike the Samaritans who first believed because of miracles and later because of the word of God, this official first believed because he knew that Jesus can do miracles and he confirmed his belief when his son was healed. This was false belief. This was not belief because of the word of God but a belief based on miracles.
This is the end of chapter 4!
Father, thank you for the encouraging and enlightening words of truth. Help us to be able to see the difference between false belief and true belief. In Jesus name, amen.