|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:43-54 The father was a nobleman, yet the son was sick. Honours and titles are no security from sickness and death. The greatest men must go themselves to God, must become beggars. The nobleman did not stop from his request till he prevailed. But at first he discovered the weakness of his faith in the power of Christ. It is hard to persuade ourselves that distance of time and place, are no hinderance to the knowledge, mercy, and power of our Lord Jesus. Christ gave an answer of peace. Christ's saying that the soul lives, makes it alive. The father went his way, which showed the sincerity of his faith. Being satisfied, he did not hurry home that night, but returned as one easy in his own mind. His servants met him with the news of the child's recovery. Good news will meet those that hope in God's word. Diligent comparing the works of Jesus with his word, will confirm our faith. And the bringing the cure to the family brought salvation to it. Thus an experience of the power of one word of Christ, may settle the authority of Christ in the soul. The whole family believed likewise. The miracle made Jesus dear to them. The knowledge of Christ still spreads through families, and men find health and salvation to their souls.
Verse 46. - He came therefore again unto Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. The οϋν of this verse is best explained by the simple supposition that Cana lay in his way. In Cana of Galilee, not Judaea, he had manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him. He came, then, to Galilee, to Cana, and for a while tarried there, long enough for the βασιλικός to have heard of his healing power and prophetic gifts. There have been numerous attempts to identify this narrative of the nobleman's son with the healing of the centurion's servant as recorded in Matthew 8:5 and Luke 7:2. Recently Weiss and Thoma have laid emphasis upon this identification. Strauss, Baur, and all the opponents of John's Gospel, are eager to press this subjective handling of the synoptic tradition. But, as Edersheim has observed, they are here in hopeless contradiction with their own theory; for we find that the Hebrew Gospel here confers the loftiest encomium upon a Gentile, and the Hellenic Fourth Gospel makes the hero of this scene to be a Jew. True, in both cases a man of higher rank than that of fishermen and taxgatherers approaches our Lord with a request on behalf of another. But it should be observed that in the one case we have a Roman centurion, a heathen man, coming with great faith, one who, though "not in Israel," recognizes the imperial claims of Jesus; in the present narrative we have an Herodian officer, some person of Jewish blood attendant on the tetrarch's court, who displays a weak faith, reproved though rewarded by the Master. The one asks for a dying slave afflicted with paralysis; the other for a dying son suffering from deadly fever. Jesus meets the centurion as he crones down from the mountain, after the delivery of the great sermon; the Lord, when he receives the request of the nobleman, was a resident in. Cana. Both cures are said to take place at Capernaum by the utterance of a word, but the centurion disclaims the right to a visit, and asks for a word only. The nobleman entreats that the Lord would travel from Cana to Capernaum to heal his son. Thus the two narratives, with certain resemblances, are still strongly contrasted. The βασιλικός is one in the service of a king. The title of a king was given to Herod in later times (Mark 6:14), and characterized other references to him. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So Jesus came again unto Cana of Galilee,.... Where he had been once before; see John 2:1. The Syriac version here, as there, calls it "Kotne" of Galilee; and the Persic version, "Catneh" of Galilee:
where he made the water wine; see John 2:9;
there was a certain nobleman; the Vulgate Latin renders it, "a petty king"; the Arabic version, and Nonnus, call him, "a royal man"; and the Syriac version renders it, "a king's servant"; with which agrees the Ethiopic, calling him "a minister, a steward, the king's domestic". The Persic version makes it to be his name, reading it, "there was a great man, whose name was Abdolmelic", which signifies a king's servant: from the whole he seems to be one that belonged to the palace of Herod Antipas, and was one of his courtiers; who, though he was but tetrarch of Galilee, yet is sometimes called a king, Mark 6:14;
whose son was sick at Capernaum; some versions, as the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic, read the phrase, "in Capernaum", with the former clause, "there was a nobleman in Capernaum": and others, as we do with this; and both may be true; for he might be an inhabitant of Capernaum, and his house be there where his son lay sick. Some think this nobleman was either Chuza, Herod's steward, Luke 8:3, or Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod, Acts 13:1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
46, 47. nobleman—courtier, king's servant, or one connected with a royal household; such as Chuza (Lu 8:3), or Manaen (Ac 13:1).
heard that Jesus was come out of Judea—"where he had doubtless seen or heard what things Jesus had done at Jerusalem" (Joh 4:45), [Bengel].
come down—for Capernaum was down on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
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