Jesus Heals a Dying Boy and a Lame Man
Click here to get a PDF copy of John 4:46-5:17
If you have a version you prefer to use, please feel free to read the entire passage from it. You may want to reread the passage daily, using at least a second version for one or two days. Each day, please remember to:
• Pray, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate your mind, soften your heart, and subdue your will as you read and reflect on the passage.
• Take notice of words or phrases that grab your attention.
• Is there anything the Holy Spirit is asking you to do in light of what you have read?
• Talk to God about what you experience through this passage of scripture.
Background: John recorded specific miracles performed by Jesus for the overall purpose of helping people to believe in Jesus as the Son of God so that they might receive life (John 20:30-31). Turning the water into wine was the first sign or miracle John recorded. Its purpose was to bring about social healing. We will now look at the second miracle that John recorded. It was for physical healing and preventing the death of a boy. Healing the lame man was the third sign.
Monday - Each day, prayerfully read the passage. After reflecting on the suggested thoughts or questions, talk to God about what you experienced and listen for Him to speak to you.
John 4:46–54 (NIV) 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.
The royal official would have been seen by most Jews, including the disciples, as unworthy of a true Messiah’s notice, let alone providing help for him. After all, he was most likely a Jew and a Roman official. Why do you think Jesus took time for him? How can you apply this in your daily life?
The royal official had to travel 20 miles to go to Jesus. What do you think he might have gone through to make that decision? What negative thoughts might he have encountered? He went to great lengths to see Jesus. What lengths are you willing to go to in order to seek Jesus? Talk with God about the thoughts and feelings you experienced today.
Tuesday: Jesus’s statement about people being more interested in signs and wonders seems, at first glance, to be insensitive. To whom do you think he was directing that remark? In what ways do we seek Jesus for the things we think we need or that we desire more than seeking to trust Him?
Why do you think the official was willing to return home at the promise of Jesus that his son would live? Do we tend to wait to see the “results” we desire before trusting in the promises of God’s Word, or do we hesitate to follow the Word until we know for sure everything will work out?
The official’s faith in Jesus affected his family. He must have told them the whole story of his encounter with Jesus. As a result, they believed in Jesus, too. How willing are you to tell others about your encounters with Jesus?
Prayerfully read the story of Jesus healing the lame man in John 5:1-18 in your favorite translation. Please note that the oldest manuscripts of the Bible do not include verse 4, about the angel stirring the water, so many translations have a notation to that effect.
Once again, Jesus is going to a place where most people would be considered abandoned by God and beyond hope. Physically and spiritually. Jesus pauses and seems to ask an odd question. He asks the man who had been lame for 38 years if he wants to be well. Why do you think Jesus asked that question? What in your life do you need Jesus to heal? Do you want him to heal you? Talk with God about it.
What thoughts/feelings do you think the man had when Jesus told him to take up his bed and walk? What do you think enabled him to respond?
What thoughts and feelings do you have when you read something in the Bible or feel impressed to do what seems impossible? Is there anything God may be asking you to change in your life or anything you think He is asking you to do?
Prayerfully reread John 5:1-18 in a version of your choice. The religious leaders' attitudes toward the former lame man and their concerns regarding his breaking of the Sabbath should serve as a warning to us. What principles of Christian living and serving do you learn from this miracle? Please prayerfully reflect on this. It is an important issue!
Why do you think Jesus returned to the pool to find the man? Is there a connection between the question, “Do you want to be healed?” and the command to “Go and sin no more?” How does that apply in your life? Ask God to help you see yourself as He sees you.
Prayerfully reread John 5:1-18 in a version of your choice, focusing on verses 16-18.
Are there ways we in the church become so “religious” and set in our ways that we ignore or condemn people God has blessed because they don’t “measure up” to our standards? How can we avoid being like the religious leaders/
The religious leaders became more determined to kill Jesus because of his claim to be equal to God. Is there a parallel in our culture today? How might that affect us?
What insight or lesson from this story meant the most to you? Why? Talk to God about this.
Pastor Gary Taber