JOHN 6:1-21

JUNE 25 / JULY 2, 2017

TWO NOTABLE MIRACLES IN GALILEE

INTRODUCTION:

1. Without any mention of Jesus’ departure from Judea, chapter six opens with His appearance again in Galilee. (Verse 1)
2. John, who ordinarily documents and explains His every move, does not do so in this case until the next chapter. (Ch. 7:1)
3. Chapter five concluded with Jesus condemning the Jewish unbelief, which had become adamant. (Ch. 5:45-47)
a) Their unbelief had hardened into hatred, thus His departure into Galilee, where He would continue for perhaps a year, was symbolic of their rejection.
b) Their seeking to slay Him intensified with their growing hatred, thus “Jesus walked in Galilee…because the Jews sought to kill him.” (Ch. 5:16; 7:1)
4. Chapter six will close with another crisis of unbelief, this time in Galilee, with many erstwhile followers leaving Jesus permanently. (Verse 66)
a) We saw previously there had been a shallow miracle-based faith manifested in Galilee. (Ch. 4:45)
b) Here this faith will express itself in great political aspirations, but when disappointed, will turn into disillusioned apathy.
5. John’s Gospel relates this situation in Galilee by recording two miracles that are also recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, putting them into their proper moral and spiritual context.

I. THE FIRST MIRACLE IS THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND. (VERSES 1-15)

A. THE TIME AND PLACE OF THIS MIRACLE ARE GIVEN. (VERSES 1, 4)
1. The time is significant, because John notes that the Feast of Passover was nigh. (Verse 4)
a) If Jesus healed the impotent man at Bethesda, during the feast of Purim, that feast would have been in March. (Ch. 5:1)
b) This miracle, which was performed in Galilee was during Passover, which was in mid-April, just a few weeks afterward.
c) This is remarkable, because Jesus was in Galilee, when every devout Jew wanted to be in Jerusalem because it was Passover.
d) The special significance of this is that what Jesus did here was to conduct, if you will, His own Passover.
2. The place is given. (Verse 1)
a) The Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberius, after a Roman Emperor, was obviously in Galilee.
b) Jesus went “over the sea,” probably from Capernaum, to the other side.
c) Luke says it was near the City of Bethsaida (Luke 9:10) which was on the northeast shore of the Sea of Galilee.

B. THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL SETTING OF THIS MIRACLE IS ALSO GIVEN. (VERSES 2, 3)
1. On His return, Jesus was performing miracles.
2. “A great multitude,’ being impressed by the miracles, “followed Him because they saw the miracles.” (Lit. they were following Him, because they were seeing the miracles – all imperfect, continuous tenses.)
3. Jesus retired to a mountain for refreshment and teaching. (A place of higher elevation than the seashore)
4. Into this place of seclusion burst this multitude seeking Him. What will He do with these rude intruders?
a) He doubtless spent most of the day teaching and healing this multitude of folks who just kept on coming.
b) As the day was drawing to an end, a problem arose. The people needed to eat, and there was no food.

C. JESUS CITED THE PROBLEM, WHICH HAD NO APPARENT SOLUTION. (VERSES 5b-9)
1. Where and how were they to be fed? This question was put to Philip.
2. Jesus knew what he would do, but was testing Philip. (Verse 6)
3. Philip logically analyzed the problem. (Verse 7)
4. Andrew, good-heartedly, brought forth all of their natural resources. (Verse 8) They consisted of one small boy’s lunch, which he had brought.

D. JESUS THEREFORE MOVED TO MEET THIS NEED BY SUPERNATURAL MEANS. (VERSES 10-13)
1. Jesus instructed the multitude to be seated in accordance with the oriental custom of the day, i.e. men segregated from the women and children.
a) The men numbered about 5,000. This did not include women and children, who without question were also fed.
b) They were seated on the plush green grass. “Much grass,” indicative of spring time.
2. Jesus took the five loaves and two small fishes, and acting as the head of the family at Passover,
a) He gave thanks, which impressed all (Verse 23b);
b) He distributed to all;
c) They all did eat “as much as they would,” until “they were filled.”
d) Remember Andrew’s question: “but what are they among so many?” (Verse 9b)
3. Jesus directed that all leftovers should be gathered. (Verses 11, 12)
a) God’s abundant blessings are not to be squandered.
b) These 12 baskets of leftovers were proof that a divine miracle had been performed.
c) There was a practical reason for the “extras.” As the twelve baskets probably belonged to the twelve disciples, this food would be for their future use.

E. THE CROWD RESPONDED WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM. (VERSE 14)
1. They saw what Jesus did as a sign that Jesus was indeed “that Prophet.” (Deut. 18:18)
2. They concluded that since Jesus was that Prophet of whom Moses had spoken, He surely was going to establish an earthly kingdom.

F. JESUS DID NOT WELCOME THEIR RESPONSE. (VERSE 15)
1. He had previously warmly welcomed them. (Verses 5, 6)
2. He had just graciously fed them. (Verses 11, 12a)
3. Yet now, He departs from them into a mountain again, in order to get away from them.
a) This escape is prompted by Divine knowledge of what they intended to do.
b) He removed Himself from them because they intended to seize Him and make Him their King.
c) Rather than embrace this idea, Jesus escaped from them.
d) He needed a place of solitude to seek His Father’s face.
4. According to modern thought about Christ and an earthly kingdom, Jesus’ actions were very strange. But, if, as He said, His Kingdom is not of this world, His actions made perfect sense.

II. THE SECOND MIRACLE IS JESUS WALKING ON THE WATER. (VERSES 16-21)

A. THE DISCIPLES OBEYED JESUS’ COMMAND AND TOOK SHIP BACK ACROSS TO CAPERNAUM, BUT RELUCTANTLY, AS IT APPEARS. (VERSES 16, 17; WITH MATT. 14:22)
1. Jesus had given them strong order to depart earlier. (Matt. 14:22) He did not want them to become infected with the idea of the multitude.
2. In the meantime, Jesus dismissed the greater part of the crowd, and then He went away into a mountain alone. (Verse 15; Matt. 14:23)
3. The disciples apparently hung around until it was almost dark, “evening,” waiting for Jesus.
4. Finally, they gave up waiting on Him, and they departed in a boat for Capernaum, but by then it was dark. (V. 17)

B. THE DISCIPLES WERE CAUGHT UP IN A FIERCE, LIFE-THREATENING STORM AT SEA WHEN JESUS MIRACULOUSLY CAME TO THEIR RESCUE. (VERESES 18-21)
1. The Sea of Galilee is not a large body of water (actually more of an inland lake) but it is subject to severe and sudden storms. This is still true to this day.
2. We must remember that these disciples were experienced fishermen, and knew how to navigate these waters, even when storms arose. This, however, was no ordinary storm.
3. Rowing furiously, they got about halfway across the sea, but the storm was getting the best of them. (Verse 19a; Matt. 14:24)
4. Suddenly there appeared out of the darkness, what they thought was a spirit (specter) and they were afraid. (Verse 19b; Matt. 14:24)
5. It was Jesus who came to them walking on the stormy sea, who then calmed their fears with a personal greeting. (Verse 20)
a) This must have made a great impression, for these words are recorded in all of the Gospels.
b) They are authoritative and also comforting. “Stop fearing.”
6. Then Jesus made a royal entrance into the boat. (Verse 21)
a) His voice calmed their fears completely. (Verse 19b) They before had “cried out for fear” at the sight of what they thought was a ghost (Matt. 14:26), but now knowing that it was Jesus, they welcomed Him gladly.
b) His voice and presence still calms us when we are afraid or troubled.
c) John adds a wonderful bit of information that none of the other evangelists tell us. Jesus entered the ship “and immediately the ship was at land whither they went.” (Verse 21b)

C. WE HAVE NEXT THE REACTION OF THE ENTHUSIASTS THAT WERE LEFT BEHIND. (VRS. 22-24)
1. Jesus had sent the multitude away, but the next day some of them, probably those who were most enthusiastic to make Him king, still remained on the shore.
2. They had observed that only one boat had left the shore the night before, and though the disciples were in it, Jesus was not, and yet He was not to be found. (Verse 22)
3. They were perplexed where Jesus might be, sine He obviously was no longer in that place.
4. However, other boats had by now come to that shore from Tiberius across the sea on the far western shore, perhaps force to land by the storm the night before. (Verse 23)
5. After a thorough search for Jesus, and coming up empty, these enthusiasts boarded these boats and came across to Capernaum still looking for Jesus. (Verse 24)

CONCLUSION:

1. We noted at the beginning that John, though his gospel is largely supplemental, relates these two miracles which are recorded in the Synoptic Gospels, and that in doing so, he puts them in their proper perspective, i.e. their proper moral and spiritual context.
2. We need to consider the higher meaning of these miracles, which is seen in what follows to the end of the chapter.
3. Clearly, the enthusiastic multitude missed the true meaning of them, but we must not.
4. In the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus was setting Himself forth as the true Bread of Life which came down from heaven.
a) As he broke the bread, so His body would be broken for sinners. “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”
b) As He gave them to eat, so we must feed on Him by faith, as He goes on to show in this chapter.
c) Thus He miraculously gives life to the world.
5. In the miracle of His walking on the water, Jesus shows Himself as Sovereign King.
a) This great truth is also expounded through the rest of this chapter.
b) As He suspended the laws of nature, curing the separation and fears of His disciples, so does He, by His sovereign power and grace, receive perishing souls from sin’s separation, fears, and destruction.
c) As He defied natural law in this miracle, so He would one day suspend natural law and rise from the dead.
d) As He miraculously appeared to save His disciples, and take them immediately to their destination, so one day He will come again, and transport all His own to their desired haven.

JOHN 5:17-30

JUNE 11 / JUNE 18, 2017

JESUS, GOD’S SON AND WORKMAN

INTRODUCTION:

1. Who would have thought that the healing of an impotent man of thirty-eight years would have been the trigger that would detonate such an explosion of hostility against Christ as we see here? Jewish hatred, though growing, was pretty much latent until then.
2. The particular offence for which they began to “persecute Jesus,” and even “sought to slay Him” was that He performed this healing miracle “on the Sabbath Day.” The crime was compounded when he instructed the patient to take up his bed. According to rabbinical teaching it was unlawful to practice medicine on the Sabbath, and it was unlawful to carry a piece of furniture on the Sabbath.
3. “But Jesus answered them.” (Verse 17a) His initial answer asserted what should have been obvious. (Verse 17b)
a) This great miracle was done by Divine power. Therefore, He was the agent of it, but the power was of God. (See Matt. 12:28; Luke 11”20)
b) Moreover, He asserted that He, the agent of God, was also the Son of God. Therefore, He was equal with God.
(1) The Jews clearly understood that by claiming that God was His Father, He was making Himself God’s equal.
(2) Jesus here confirmed what John had said in the prologue of this Gospel. (John 1:1, 14)
4. This, in their minds, added a second and much greater reason why he should be put to death. (Verse 18)
a) He, according to their crass externalism, was guilty of breaking the Sabbath.
b) He, in claiming to be the Son of God, had, in their eyes, made Himself guilty of blasphemy. (See Mark 14:61-64)

I. JESUS ASSERTED THAT THE SON IS THE FATHER’S WORKMAN. (VERSES 17-30)

A. JESUS DEFENDED HIS ACTIONS BY DECLARING THE PERFECT SUBORDINATION BETWEEN HIS WORK AND THAT OF HIS FATHER. (VERSE 17)
1. The Father’s work continued to that present hour. “My Father worketh hitherto.”
a) This would include all of God’s work of preserving and sustaining all things. It is comforting to know that the Father doesn’t take a day off.
b) This would involve His work of salvation, the greatest part of which was the sending of the Son.
2. The Son would therefore work in cooperation and subordination with the Father.
3. Thus, the healing of the impotent man was the Divine work of the Son in subordination to the Father.
a) Jesus had healed this man on the Sabbath Day, but not apart from the Father.
b) Would they dare to charge God with breaking the Sabbath?

B. THE JEWS REJECTED HIS JUSTIFICATION ON A TWOFOLD BASIS. (VERSE 18)
1. They charged that Jesus had broken the Sabbath.
a) He had ignored their regulations, but He had not violated God’s Law.
b) In Jesus’ entire life on earth not a single infraction of God’s Law can be found.
2. They charged Jesus with blasphemy – being equal with God.
a) They understood the particular emphasis of “My Father.” They knew that He was not claiming sonship in a general sense, but rather eternal Sonship which would make Him God’s equal. Only God is eternal!
b) Jesus, knowing that they had correctly interpreted His words, did not deny or correct their interpretation, for they understood what He meant.
c) They perceived the implicit equality in the parallel of the Father’s work, and His work. (Verse 17)

C. JESUS FURTHER EXPLAINED HIS SUBORDINATION TO THE FATHER. (VERSE 19)
1. The Son cannot work contrary to the Father. “…the Son can do nothing of himself.”
2. Whatever He does, He is only imitating the Father. “…but what He seeth the Father do.”
3. Whatever He does is in cooperation with, although in subordination to, the Father. “…for what things so ever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

D. JESUS EXPLAINS HIS SUBORDINATION AND IMITATION TO THE FATHER IN A FILIAL SENSE. (VERSE 20)
1. The filial relation guarantees a full manifestation of the Father’s will and work to the Son. (Verse 20a)
2. The filial relation means a progression in the Son’s work. (Verse 20b)

E. JESUS WENT ON TO DISCLOSE GREATER WORKS THAN PHYSICAL MIRACLES. (VERSES 21-23)
1. These “greater works” are twofold. (Verses 21, 22)
a) The raising of the dead. (Verse 21)
b) The judging of mankind. (Verse 22)
2. These are “greater works” because they transcend the physical and temporal, reaching to the spiritual and eternal.
3. The purpose of these works is the honor of the Son. (Verse 23)
a) This “honor” certainly includes worship and adoration.
b) This was a strong warning to Jesus’ present accusers.

F. JESUS EXERCISES HIS PREROGATIVES FIRST IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM. (VERSES 24-27)
1. There is a spiritual resurrection which the Son has power to perform. (Verses 24-26)
a) He enables dead sinners to “hear” and “believe.” (Verse 24a)
b) He quickens the spiritually dead to life everlasting. By His quickening power, they are “passed from death unto life.” (Verse 24c; Eph.2:1)
c) This is the gift of the Father through the Son. (Verse 26)
2. There is a moral judgment by the Son. (Verses 24b, 27)
a) This is that “judgment” wrought on sin in true repentance.
b) It is that which exempts one from eternal and final judgment. (Verse 24b)
c) Judgment, as well as redemption, is accomplished by “the Son of man.” (Verse 27)
3. These are both future as well as present realities. (Verse 25)
a) The future “hour” here spoken of is Pentecost and afterwards.
b) The present “hour” refers to Christ’s personal ministry.

G. JESUS SHALL AT LAST EXERCISE HIS PREROGATIVES IN THE PHYSICAL REALM. (VERSES 28, 29)
1. The coming hour is “the last day.” (See John 6:40, 44)
2. The good that men do stems from faith in Christ. The evil that is done is their unbelief.
3. “The resurrection of life” means glorification and heaven.
4. “The resurrection of damnation” means condemnation and hell.
5. Considering the Son’s oneness with the Father and His mission, this should not come as a shock. “Marvel not at this…” (Verse 28a)

H. ALL THAT JESUS DOES IS IN CONFORMITY AND SUBORDINATION TO THE FATHER. (VERSE 30)

II. JESUS GAVE A THREEFOLD WITNESS TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIMS. (VERSES 31-40)

A. FIRST, THERE WAS THE WITNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. (VERSES 31-35)
1. He would not at this time assert His personal witness, though perfectly true. (Verse 31)
a) In this, He was assuming the position of His critics, who considered Him to be just an ordinary man.
b) On other occasions He did assert His personal testimony as authoritative. (John 8:14)
2. He would now rely on the testimony of His Father, which was manifest in various ways. (Verse 32)
3. John the Baptist had borne witness to Jesus’ person and work officially. (Verse 33; Ch. 1:19-27)
a) Jesus was not referencing him for validation at this time, but mentions him for sake of their salvation. (Vs. 34)
(1) This was ever His aim, not to save His own life, but the souls of others, even His sworn enemies.
(2) He produced John as a witness because, being one of them, it was to be hoped that they would hearken to his testimony.
b) John was a bright, but temporary light. (Verse 35)
(1) “John was…” This indicates that he was now dead.
(2) “…a burning and shining light.” He was as a torch to the darkness, but the Sun was now risen.
(3) His ministry had only a temporary and superficial effect upon these Pharisees. (See Luke 7:24-35)

B. SECOND, THERE WAS THE WITNESS OF HIS WONDROUS WORKS. (VERSES 36-38)
1. His “works” refer particularly to His miracles.
2. They were a “greater witness than that of John” because they were seen and recognized more generally.
3. They were in effect, the Father’s witness, because the Father gave them to the Son, and the Son finished them.
4. In these miracles, God Himself was to be “heard” and “seen.” (Verse 37)

C. THIRDLY, THERE WAS THE WITNESS OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. (VERSES 38-40)
1. They had the sacred Scriptures in their hands, but sadly, not in their hearts. (Verse 38)
a) This was a judgment upon them, as Jesus here points out.
b) The proof that the Word did not abide in them was their present rejection of Him. The present miracle which God gave to bear Him witness, they condemned as unlawful.
2. They scrupulously studied the Scripture, but missed Christ in them. (Verse 39)
a) “Search the scriptures” can be either an imperative or a declarative; a command, or a statement of fact.
b) They were busy searching the Scripture, and they did this thinking by that discipline to gain eternal life.
c) This they did, and yet missed the great revelation of those Scriptures. “They are they which testify of me.”
d) Those very Scripture declare the person and work of Jesus Christ.
3. For them, this was a great moral contradiction. (Verse 40)
a) They studied the Scriptures but did not come to Christ.
b) They sought life and rejected Him in whom life is found.
c) They most willingly refused Christ. “Ye will not come to me.”

III. JESUS DIRECTLY CONDEMNED THE UNBELIEF OF THESE JEWS. (VERSES 41-47)

A. HE EXPOSED THE CAUSE OF THEIR UNBELIEF. (VERSES 41-44)
1. Their desire for popularity and the praise of men lay at the heart of it. (Verse 41, 42)
a) On the one hand we see Christ, Who seeks not man’s approval or praise. (Verse 41)
b) On the other hand are men whose foremost and supreme desire is the applause and good opinion of men.
2. This vanity proves an entire lack of love for God. (Verse 42)
3. This vanity lay at the heart of these Jews’ rejection of Christ. (Verse 43a)
4. This vanity would leave them vulnerable for future deception. (Verse 43b) (History records many false Messiahs who gained a following with the Jews between the crucifixion of Christ and the destruction of the Temple.)
5. This vanity shut them up to unbelief. (Verse 44)

B. HE NEXT SHOWED THE TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR UNBELIEF. (VERSES 45-47)
1. They were condemned by that very law they claimed to love. (Verse 45)
a) Jesus would not be their accuser, but Moses.
b) The one they professed to honor, and on whom they pinned their hopes will proves their undoing.
2. They were exposed as unbelievers both of the Law and the Gospel. (Verse 46)
a) They believed neither Moses nor Christ.
b) This is proven by the fact that Moses wrote of Christ.
3. They were shown to be deniers of the sacred Scriptures in that they did not believe Jesus’

JOHN 5:1-16

JUNE 4, 2017

JESUS HEALS AN INFIRMED MAN AT BETHESDA

INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus had sensed a growing hostility toward Him in Judea for sake of which “He left Judea and departed again into Galilee,” taking the direct route through Samaria. (Ch.4:1, 3, 4)
2. Having considered the marvelous events recorded in chapter four, we know that the growing hostility among the Jewish leaders was, in fact, more of a providential indication that it was time for Him to make this move. He had urgent business to take care of both in Samaria, and also in Galilee.
3. Now, after His tour in Galilee, Jesus returns to Judea to find that the Jewish hostility was not just imagined, but very real, and increasing, and eager for any occasion of expression.
4. From this time on, Jerusalem became the center of resistance. It was there that the hostile element would surround Jesus, constantly forcing Him into controversy. One great example of this is seen here when Jesus healed an impotent man at the pool of Bethesda.

I. HERE WE HAVE THE FIRST REAL OUTBREAK OF HATRED AGAINST CHRIST, OCCASIONED BY THE HEALING OF AN IMPOTENT MAN. (VERSES 1-9)

A. JESUS AGAIN LEFT GALILEE AND RETURNED TO JUDEA. (VERSE 1)
1. It was “after this,” meaning after His trip through Samaria to Galilee, and the events that took place, some of which are recorded in the previous chapter, but most likely there were more besides.
2. There are varied opinions about how long it had been since Jesus left. Some believe that He was gone for at least three months. Others believe that, except for a brief stay at Sychar, and perhaps at Cana, it was basically just travel time there and back.
3. It was during “a feast of the Jews,” that Jesus returned and went up to Jerusalem.
a) Many commentators believe it was the Feast of Passover. This would mean that one full year had passed since Jesus officially presented Himself as Messiah. (Ch. 2:13ff) It would also mean that Jesus, in the three and a half years of His earthly ministry, attended four Passovers. The other evangelists record only one, but John records all four. (Ch. 2:13; 5:1; 4:4l 13:1)
b) Calvin thinks it was Pentecost, arguing that Jesus departed for Galilee not long after Passover and the next feast on the Jewish calendar was Pentecost.
c) Others thing that it was neither of the above, but perhaps the feast of Purim, held in the month of March.
d) Jesus, knowing the danger, still entered again into Jerusalem because He desired to keep this feast.

B. UPON RETURNING TO JERUSALEM, JESUS WAS DRAWN TO A PLACE CALLED BETHESDA, WHERE THERE WERE MANY SICK PEOPLE.
1. He did not go first to the temple as he had done before. (Ch. 2:13) On that occasion He was making His official Messianic entrance according to the word of the prophet. (Mal. 3:1, 2)
2. On this occasion He went directly to Bethesda, a hospital setting where all manner of sick and disabled people came for care.
a) Bethesda means “house of mercy,” and was apparently established for the purpose of caring for the sick and infirmed.
b) It was located near to the sheep market, which was most likely by the sheep gate, a place where sacrificial animals were sold to temple-goers.
3. This facility had five porches, or porticoes arranged around a pool. Apparently these provided shelter for the impotent folk who would gather around the pool.
4. Jewish tradition believed an angel stirred the waters at certain times, enabling the healing of whomever stepped first into the stirring waters. (Verse 4)

C. JESUS TOOK SPECIAL NOTICE OF ONE PARTICULARLY NEEDY SOUL. (VERSES 5-9)
1. He was marked out by God’s purpose. “A certain man…”
2. He was a particularly pitiable case.
a) He had suffered his infirmity for 38 years.
b) He was completely helpless, i.e. totally immobile.
c) He was all alone and had none to befriend him.
d) He had given up all hope of being healed.

D. JESUS WAS MOVED WITH COMPASSION TO HELP THIS MAN. (VERSES 6-9)
1. Notice the question, “Wilt thou be made whole?” The question is an implied promise.
a) Jesus would lift his eyes up to the Personal Bethesda. Jesus, in His own person, is our “House of Mercy.”
b) Jesus would direct his hope, not to an angel coming to stir this pool, but to the Angel of the covenant, who was come with healing in His wings.
c) Jesus would have him not to look for help from some man (Verse 7), but from The Man Christ Jesus.
2. Jesus pronounced a healing command, which had in it also the power to perform. (Verse 8)
a) “Rise” – that which he had not the strength to do.
b) “Take up thy bed” – proof of his new-found strength.
c) “And walk” – the exercise of the healing he had received.
3. The healing was immediate and vital. (Verse 9)
a) It was not a slow healing process. “And immediately the man was made whole.” In the spiritual realm, regeneration is instantaneous.
b) The man obeyed the command, which was the clear evidence of his healing. One’s spiritual healing is made evident first in his willingness to obey his Lord’s commands, and second, in his ability to do so.
4. John here notes the fact that this was done on the Sabbath Day (Verse 9b), and important notation, considering the controversy which follows.

II. THE FIRST OUTBREAK OF HATRED AGAINST CHRIST WAS DUE TO THE RIDICULOUS, CRASS EXTERNALISM OF THE JEWS REGARDING THE SABBATH. (VERSES 10-16)

A. THEY WERE SO CONCERNED ABOUT A SUPPOSED LEGAL VIOLATION THAT THEY WOULD NOT REJOICE OVER THE WONDERFUL MIRACULOUS HEALING OF THIS MAN. (VERSE 10)
1. We can safely assume that the Jews knew of this man’s miserable condition, and that it had been long standing. He was certainly a familiar figure at the pool of Bethesda.
2. Yet they did not congratulate him or rejoice with him; neither did they praise God for this healing miracle, but instead, they charged the healed man with a legal violation.
a) The Rabbis said one could not carry a piece of furniture on the Sabbath Day. (This “bed” consisted of a mat that could be rolled up and carried on one’s shoulder.)
b) The Rabbis also taught that medical treatment could not be administered on the Sabbath Day.
c) Surely they overlook the weightier matter of the law. (Matt. 23:23)

B. THE MAN WHO WAS HEALED RIGHTLY PLED THE AUTHORITY OF THE ONE WHO HEALED HIM. (VERSE 11)
1. Who but one having Divine authority could perform such a miraculous healing. He therefore has all authority to command what He will.
2. This is certainly true with respect to Christ’s Lordship over those whom He raises up spiritually.

C. THE ATTENTION OF THE JEWS WAS NOW TURNED TO THIS UNKNOWN PERSON WHO HAD HEALED THIS MAN AND AUTHORIZED HIM TO TAKE UP HIS BED. (VERSES 12, 13)
1. The healed man honestly did not know who it was that healed him. This would indicate that his healing was only physical, unlike that of the nobleman’s son in the previous chapter. (Verse 13a)
2. The Jews may have suspicioned who it was, but they would be certain. (Verse 12)
3. It being a feast of the Jews, and the Sabbath Day, Jesus easily hid himself amidst the multitude. (Verse 13)

D. JESUS GAVE A NEEDED WARNING TO THE MAN THAT WAS HEALED. (VERSE 14)
1. He found him in the temple where he had gone to worship.
2. His sickness had apparently been because of some particular sin.
3. Jesus warns him of a worse consequence, even the loss of his soul.
4. We may parallel the physical healing with spiritual healing, but not everyone that received physical healing was necessarily healed spiritually.
a) If one is not delivered from sin, there is no evidence of spiritual healing.
b) Of the two, soul healing is infinitely better.
c) Many whose souls are in perfect spiritual health will not be freed from physical infirmity until they receive their new body.

E. THE HEALED MAN REPORTED JESUS TO THE JEWS. (VERSE 15)
1. This was not done maliciously (necessarily), but merely to answer their inquiry. (Verse 12)
2. It would seem, however, that he did report Jesus in order to turn the attention from himself regarding the legal infraction he had been charged with.

F. THE JEWS MANIFESTED A DEFINITE HATRED AGAINST JESUS. (VERSE 16)
1. As noted before, they probably suspicioned that it was Jesus who healed this man; or better yet, they knew it was Him.
2. Once it was confirmed, they forgot all about the healed man’s violation; they had “bigger fish to fry.”
3. They “persecuted Jesus,” i.e. sought His harm.
4. From that time on they planned to kill Him as a capital offender.

JOHN 4:43-54

MAY 28, 2017

THE HEALING OF THE NOBLEMAN’S SON

INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus’ “need” to go through Samaria was met initially in His encounter with the woman at the well. Her conversion was the beginning of a great harvest of souls that provided Him with great spiritual refreshment and joy.
2. What a blessed contrast is seen between Christ’s reception in Samaria compared to other places.
a) In Judea there was prevailing unbelief. In Galilee He was received, but only because of reported miracles done in Judea.
b) Only in Samaria was there the flourishing of true faith.
(1) He was warmly received and proclaimed as the Messiah and Savior, yet there He had performed no miracles.
(2) There was a great harvest of souls in which the disciples participated.
3. As Jesus returned to Galilee, we have an example of one in whom true faith was produced.
a) Just as Nicodemus became an exception to the general rule in Judea, a certain nobleman from Cana and his house proved to be the exceptions in Galilee.
b) In this case we see that the nobleman’s state of mind was not at first an exception, but typical. (See Verse 48) This, rather than helping his faith, was actually a hindrance, i.e. an obstacle that Jesus had to remove before this man could truly believe.
4. THE HEALING OF THE NOBLEMAN’S SON, rather than being a sign to encourage faith, was actually the product of the true faith that was produced in him.

I. HERE WE HAVE A GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE GALILEAN STATE OF MIND. (VERSES 43-46)

A. IT WAS AN ATTITUDE OF SKEPTICISM AND DOUBT. (VERSES 43, 44)
1. Note the phrase, “Now after.” This phrase suggests something more than sequence of events. How different from the hearty acceptance that He had experienced during those two wonderful days in Samaria, where, having been besought, He tarried and nurtured their true faith. “Now after” two glorious days in Samaria, He went into the far less friendly climate of Galilee. (Verse 43)
2. Jesus left Samaria in order to officially begin His Galilean ministry, where familiarity bred contempt. (Vs. 44)
a) Jesus fully recognized this regrettable fact, and had Himself so testified. (See Matt. 13:57)
b) It was clearly familiarity that caused their disdain for Him. (See Matt. 13:53-58)
c) Yet, He returned to this hard field, where much of His ministry was to take place, in order to accomplish what His Father gave Him to do.
3. John here notifies us why Jesus had begun His ministry in Judea. This was done so that the reports of His work there would open the way for His work in Galilee. (Verse 45)
a) A full year had passed, and now He was returning to His home country.
b) Having established Himself in the capital city of Israel, He now had a reputation by which to overcome the hometown prejudice.
4. We see in this that Divine Wisdom condescends to accommodate our human weakness.

B. IT WAS A MINDSET OF A MIRACLE-BASED FAITH. (VERSES 45, 46a)
1. This was not unique to Galilee. We saw examples of this same kind of faith in Judea. (Ch. 2:23-25)
2. This became the condition for their reception. “The Galileans received Him having seen all the things that He did…” (Verse 45)
a) Miracles may confirm faith, but they will never create it.
b) A miracle-based faith loves the creature more than the Creator. (Rom. 1:25)
c) A miracle-based faith places greater importance upon the temporal more than the eternal.
3. Jesus came again to Cana, where He had performed His first miracle. (Verse 46a)

II. A CASE IN WHICH THIS MINDSET WAS OVERCOME IS NEXT PRESENTED. (VERSES 46b-54)

A. TRUE FAITH, THOUGH IT BE WEAK AND IMPERFECT, IS STILL TRUE FAITH. (VERSES 46b-49)
1. This nobleman was probably a servant of King Herod.
a) Herod was but a Tetrarch, yet he was called a king, as his father.
b) This one could be Chuza, Herod’s steward. (See Luke 8:3), or perhaps Manaen, Herod’s foster brother. (Acts 63:1)
2. The news of Jesus’ coming to Galilee had apparently spread quickly.
a) This nobleman had already come from Capernaum to Cana.
b) No doubt many others had come from various parts hoping to see some miracle.
3. This nobleman’s faith seemed at first to be no greater than all the others.
4. Jesus severely tested this man’s faith. (Verse 48)
a) These words are addressed to this nobleman.
b) They were inclusive, intending all Galileans generally. “Except ye (plural) see…ye (plural) will not believe.”
c) The Galileans wanted to “see” in order to “believe.”
d) From the nobleman’s reply, we see that he is still holding on to this idea himself. “Sir, come down…”
5. The nobleman’s persistent request seems to indicate that his faith was real, yet there was still a condition attached.
a) He implicitly admitted the charge Jesus made against his countrymen.
b) Yet he persisted in the faith that he had.
c) He seemed to think that Jesus must come down with him to Capernaum where his son lay dying in order to help him.
(1) He hoped to see Christ do something.
(2) He, at this moment, had not come to believe that Christ’s Word only was sufficient. (Compare Matt. 8:7, 8)
(3) Yet, Christ clearly recognized in this man the working of true faith.

B. TRUE FAITH, EVEN THOUGH IMPERFECT, IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEVELOPMENT AND GROWTH. (VERSES 50-53)
1. Jesus elevated his faith by removing the condition that was attached to it. (Verse 50a)
a) He sent him home, but did not go with him.
b) He met his need, but in an unexpected way. Jesus’ Word would have to be trusted.
c) He promised life to the man’s son.
d) This was intended to perfect his faith.
2. The nobleman’s faith became fixed to the Word of Jesus. (Verse 50b)
a) He departed for home without seeing his son healed, but “faith is the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)
b) He believed because of the Word Jesus spoke.
3. The nobleman’s faith was confirmed. (Verses 51-53)
a) His faith was confirmed by the report of his servants. (Verse 51)
b) His faith was confirmed by the timing of his son’s recovery. (Verse 52)
c) His faith was confirmed sufficiently to influence his entire household. (Verse 53)

C. TRUE FAITH IS A GRACE THROUGH WHICH GOD IS MOVED TO DO GREAT MIRACLES. (VERSE 54)
1. All miracles are not wrought through the faith of the ones who are blessed.
a) John mentions that this was the second miracle that Jesus performed after coming out of Judea into Galilee.
b) The first of these miracles was, of course, the turning of water into wine. (Ch. 2:1-11)
c) Though Jesus’ mother did have confidence that her Son could do what was needed, and the servants did obey His instructions (perhaps expectantly), He was very clear that the purpose, timing, and working of that miracle was entirely of the Father’s will.
2. This second miracle was produced by divine power through the means and operation of faith which Divine grace worked and developed in the heart of this nobleman.
a) It is therefore an example of that saving faith that is worked in all who believe savingly on Jesus Christ.
b) The greater miracle here was not the physical healing of the nobleman’s son, but rather the spiritual healing (the salvation) of the nobleman and his son, and his whole house.