The Second Sign – Healing of the Nobleman’s Son

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Sermon Outline:

1. The Setting
2. The Sign
3. The Shadow and Type
4. The Significance

Sermon Text:

John 4:43-54

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 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.

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

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. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 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. 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.

Sermon Notes

Historical Background to John 4:34-54:
“The humble Carpenter had left them for a season. He had commenced His public ministry. He had been to Jerusalem. There He had sternly corrected the Temple abuses. There He had performed such miracles that many believed on his name” (John 2:23). Many of the Galileans who were in attendance at the Feast had also witnessed His wonderful works, and they were duly impressed. On their return home they would doubtless tell others of what they had witnessed. And now that the Lord Jesus returns to Galilee, He is at once “received.” Now that His fame had spread abroad the people flocked around Him. Such is human nature. Let a man who lived in comparative obscurity leave his native place, become famous in some state or country, and then return to his home town, and it is astonishing how many will claim friendship, if not kinship, with him. Human nature is very fickle and very superficial, and the moral of all this is to warn us not to place confidence in any man, but to value all the more highly the faithfulness of Him who changes not.
“So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum” (John 4:46). Why should we be told where the Lord was when He performed the miracle of healing the nobleman’s son? Why, after mentioning Cana, is it added, “Where he made the water wine?” And why tell us in the last verse of the chapter: “This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee?” Surely it is apparent at once that we are to place the two miracles that were wrought at Cana side by side.
The Holy Spirit indicates there is something that they have in common. In the first place, both were third day scenes: in John 2:1 we read, “And the third day there was a marriage in Carla of Galilee;” and in John 4:43 we are told, “Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.” Second, when Mary came to Christ and told Him they had no wine, He rebuked her (John 2:4), so when the nobleman asked Christ to come down and heal his sick child the Lord rebuked him (John 4:48). Third, in each case we see the obedient response made by those whom the Lord commanded (John 2:7 and 4:50). Fourth, in both miracles we see the Word at work: in each miracle the Lord did nothing but speak. Fifth, in both narratives mention is made of the servant’s knowledge (John 2:9 and 4:51). Sixth, the sequel in each case was that they who witnessed the miracle believed: in the one we read, “And his disciples believed in him” (John 2:11); in the other we are told, “And himself believed, and his whole house” (John 4:53). Seventh, there is a designed similarity in the way in which each narrative concludes: in John 2:11 we are told, “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee,” and in John 4:54, “This is again the second miracle which Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee.” –A.W. Pink