John 4:43-54

Author: Craig Barnes


Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

43 “After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48  “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed. 54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.”


Key Verses

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” . . . 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So, he and his whole household believed.





Hearing is Believing

I have read this story several times of the powerful message of Jesus saving this official’s son.  What I have realized is there are two messages that are present.


1.           Hearing is believing instead of Seeing is believing (Jesus shares that he doesn’t have to be physically                                 present for his (God’s) miracles to occur)

2.           His timing is perfect


I know that I typically believe something if I utilize four of the five senses that are more tangible/real (Seeing, Touching, Tasting, and Smelling). However, through my faith-walk, the 5th sense of Hearing is really the one that brings the most security and satisfaction.


Jesus flat out tells this official “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will never believe.”  Then Christ says “Go, your son will live.”  Hearing Christ share with him to go, he goes.  Then along the way, he finds that his son has been miraculously healed.  Both the father and the son heard Christ’s voice.  The father was in Christ’s presence, and the son felt Christ’s presence. 

Both Christ and the boy’s father weren’t physically with the official’s son, but that did not stop the healing miracle from happening.  Christ’s/God’s voice instantly traveled and healed the boy.  How do we know it was instant?  Because verse 53 says Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.”


I want things NOW.  Also, I want to watch/witness things being done so I can see them and verify.  I wonder though, is that so I can scrutinize the work even though I am not trained in fixing the issue?  For example, I want to watch a plumber (who is a master/expert in their field) work on my broken pipes.  Maybe it’s because they are working on what is mine that I feel they don’t know my house/pipes the way I do.  How silly is that?  This may be my house, but I am not the master of how everything works in it.  I can only “control” how I use it.


A true expert or someone who has mastered their craft has spent years in study, training, and practice.  We take our broken things to them to fix.  Why would there even be a question of trust that they will “heal” the brokenness?

Knowing that I want it fixed now, the master/expert may have to order the right part, and that may take time.  If I accepted a band-aided/duct-taped solution or even a solution from someone (like myself) who is not trained and practiced in repair, then that problem/brokenness would still be there and probably get worse.  


Although not physically there, Jesus provides the right fit part/solution (his salvation/grace/healing) to the official’s (our) request to save his son at just the right time.  Right fit + Right time = Perfect Healing



Discussion Questions


1.           Why do we often have to see to believe?

2.           Is there a difference between trust and faith? If so, what?

3.           What happens if we get out of the way and just let God (the Master) work?

4.           What are some examples in your life where you have heard/seen God speak to you?







Craig Barnes

Craig is a compassionate, servant-hearted leader and a gifted teacher who loves his family, his church, and his God. He and his wife, Tama, and their three beautiful girls have worshipped at Saturn Road since 1999.