What Kind Of Faith Do We Have? John 4:39-54 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
In our last show in the book of John Chapter 4, we unpacked the Samaritan women at the well. We showcased how Jesus was not prejudiced against any person and that He had extreme patience towards everyone. What we began to see and will finish up today, is that Jesus ministers to a variety of people.
In the last show, He ministered to the sinful Samaritan women and to his disciples. In this episode, through John 4:39-54 He will minister to the Samaritan people, to a nobleman and his household. The common theme in this Chapter is that each of these people had faith in Jesus. We see John, the writer of this book, fulfilling the purpose of his gospel by showing the readers how various kinds of classes of people came to believe in Jesus as God.
To give today's show context we will start our reading in chapter 4 verse 27 and then unpack verses 39 through 54 further.
Read John 4:27-38
As we stated in the last show Jesus’ disciples were shocked that He was talking to a woman let alone a hated Samaritan woman. And as usual, they didn’t understand him when He told them about the food He had that they did not know nor understand.
They took it as physical food when in actuality he was talking about the spiritual food, Jesus’ food was to do the will of the Father. Then in vs 36-38, He gives an amazing illustration of reaping and sowing those that are lost and are spiritually blind.
It’s interesting that the word “Labored” in vs 38 means “wearied”. Jesus used that word to demonstrate to His disciples that Sowing, Cultivating, and harvesting are difficult tasks, not only in the physical realm but also in the spiritual realm. There is no place in God’s kingdom for lazy people. The work is difficult and because of it, the laborers are few.
Now that we have context let’s unpack John 4:39-42. In these verses, we will see Jesus going into Samaria to labor more by sharing God’s truth with hurting people. We will see that many of the Samaritans first believed by the testimony of the Samaritan women, but then many more believed in Jesus himself.
Read John 4:39-42
The Samaritans were so excited by what they were witnessing that they begged Jesus to stay with them for 2 days. We see that during that short time His word produced fruit.
Because they were Samaritans and stubborn people like the Jews, you would have thought that they would have rejected Jesus, but the opposite was true. In vs 42, they declared Him the savior of the world. They were converted in only 2 days and they already had a missionary vision. In fact, their vision was wider than that of His apostles. (His disciples didn’t understand that until after his resurrection)
Let’s continue on in our reading as we will see Jesus go back to Cana where He did his first miracle. It’s here that we will come to meet a nobleman.
Read John 4:43-54
The region of Galilee was known as “Galilee of the Gentiles”. This is where Jesus did most of His ministry. He knew that in His own country there was hostility towards him. So He focused his attention on the gentile region. He was a Jew and was born in Bethlehem, but He became more known as the prophet from Galilee.
So why did Jesus return to Cana? Perhaps He wanted to see those he encountered at the wedding feast? We know that one of His disciples, Nathanael, aka Bartholomew, came from Cana, so perhaps there was a personal reason for His return.
Before Jesus even got to Cana, He was met in Capernaum which is about 20 miles away by a nobleman. The man had heard about Jesus and His ability to perform miracles. He wanted Jesus to heal his dying son.
Was this nobleman a Jew or a Gentile? We do not know, nor do we know his position in government. We do know that he was powerful and oversaw others and more than anything else, we do know he was at his wit's end. He was desperate and in need of the Savior's help.
In John 4:48 Jesus responded to this nobleman by saying “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” This was not a rebuke towards this nobleman, rather it was Jesus lamenting the spiritual condition of the people. He would always say seeing is believing.
The nobleman believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he made two mistakes in his thinking: one that Jesus had to go to Capernaum to save his child, and second if the boy is already dead it was too late for Jesus to do anything.
The nobleman was in a crisis, he was about to lose his son and he had no other recourse but Jesus. Many people come to Jesus with their crises, and He did not turn them away. The nobleman’s faith went from crisis faith to confident faith, and then moved to confirmed Faith and finally contagious faith.
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