Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part II: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
B. Christ's Credentials Exposed Unto Men
7. Christ's Call For A TRUE Salvation Faith Exposed
(John 4:43-54)
  1. Introduction
    1. Many people attend Church services, but not all who attend Church services have truly believe in Christ.
    2. Jesus, the Savior of the world, was very concerned about people around Him who had a spurious faith in Him only because they wanted Him to do some miracle in their temporal life's behalf.
    3. Accordingly, Jesus revealed through an event the need for people to believe in HIM as the Messiah -- not just in what miracle He could DO FOR them -- for them to have eternal life.
  2. Christ's Call For A TRUE Salvation Faith Exposed, John 4:43-54.
    1. Jesus' miracles were intended not as an end in themselves, but to be a vehicle for people to identify Him as the promised Messiah so that they might believe in Him to have eternal life.
      1. Jesus Himself noted that His miracles were intended to identify Him as the miracle-producing Messiah promised in Isaiah, cf. Mtt. 11:2-6 which alludes to the prophecies in Isa. 35:5 and 61:1.
      2. Yet, it was only by faith in Him, not just in His miracles, that people would have salvation, Jn. 20:30f.
    2. This truth is displayed in an object lesson that took place in Galilee as recorded in John 4:43-54:
      1. After Jesus returned to Galilee, His home area, He testified that His townspeople did not really respect Him as the Old Testament predicted Messiah, John 4:43-44. These Galilaeans as received Jesus for His miracles rather than for what those miracles signaled about His Messianic and divine identities, Jn. 4:45
      2. Keenly mindful of this spiritual artificiality in Galilee, Jesus at first balked at healing an imploring nobleman's son, claiming that the man would believe only for seeing a miracle rather than believing in Himself for His OWN sake, John 4:46-48:
        1. A nobleman with a very ill son in Capernaum heard Jesus had returned to Cana of Galilee, 4:46-47a.
        2. Accordingly, he made the fifteen mile journey up from Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee to Cana to ask Jesus to heal him lest he die, Aharoni and Avi-Yonah, eds., The Macmillan Bible Atlas, p. 144.
        3. Jesus only balked at this request, saying that except the man saw Him produce signs and wonders, he would not believe, John 4:48. This belief obviously did not have to do with Jesus' ability to do miracles, for the nobleman had come f rom afar expecting a miracle. Rather, it had to do with belief in Jesus as God's Son and Messiah which His miracles were to expose to the people of Israel!
      3. Desperate for the life of his ill son, the nobleman again asked Jesus to come and heal his son, Jn. 4:49.
      4. Being compassionate for the human need at hand and yet concerned that the nobleman truly believe in HIM as he ought, Jesus gave a command to make the man face Who Jesus was according to his works:
        1. Christ told the man to return to Capernaum without Jesus, and that the son would live if he did so, John 4:50. This kept the miracle itself at bay so the man could make a decision about Jesus.
        2. If the man went his way, he would be expressing belief in Jesus' authority as God's Messenger and trust the son would yet be healed under the authority of the Son of God!
      5. Believing Jesus' word without seeing a miracle, and thereby expressing faith in His Person, the man went his way in faith that his son would be healed when he saw him back home, John 4:50.
      6. As he traveled home, his servants met the nobleman to announce that his son was restored, Jn. 4:51.
      7. Curious as to how this had come about, he asked just when the boy had turned around, and found that it was at the moment when Jesus had said the boy would live and he had started back home, 4:52-53a.
      8. When the coincidence of the healing with Christ's word became known to the man's family members, they were all saved, likewise believing in Christ's Person, John 4:53b!
Lesson: One does not receive eternal life by believing that Jesus existed, or even that He did miracles, for other men have done miracles. One receives eternal life when he notes that the miracles Jesus did showed Him to fulfill Scripture in being God's MESSIAH and SON, and they trust in HIM! Thus, we must be careful ourselves to believe in the PERSON of Christ, and promote faith in HIM in witnessing!