John 4:47
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
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(47) The distance of Capernaum from Cana was from twenty to twenty-five miles. The report of Christ’s return to Galilee had spread, then, over this wide area.

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.He went unto him - Though high in office, yet he did not refuse to go personally to Jesus to ask his aid. He felt as a father; and believing, after all that Jesus had done, that he could cure his son, he traveled to meet him. If men receive benefits of Christ, they must come in the same manner. The rich and the poor, the high and the low, must come personally as humble suppliants, and must be willing to bear all the reproach that may be cast on them for thus coming to him. This man showed strong faith in being willing thus to go to Jesus, but he erred in supposing that Jesus could heal only by his being present with his son.

Would come down - It is probable that the miracles of Jesus heretofore had been performed only on those who were present with him, and this nobleman seems to have thought that this was necessary. One design of Jesus in working this miracle was to show him that this was not necessary. Hence he did not go down to Capernaum, but healed him where he was.

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.

Christ had been in Galilee before, and in this town, and wrought a miracle, and if this courtier were a disciple of John, (as some think, but it is hard to prove), it is probable he had been at the passover, and seen the miracles he wrought there, or at least might have heard of them from some who were there. Though it was a good way from Capernaum thither, yet his love to his son carried him, and humbled him to beseech Christ that he would come down and heal his son; by which he showed a great weakness of faith, as if he thought that Christ could not put forth his healing virtue at a distance, but his personal presence was necessary; as Naaman the Syrian thought that Elisha must come down and lay his hand upon him. His son, it seems, was in human appearance dying.

When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea,.... For the fame of Christ, for his doctrine and miracles, was spread every where; so that it was known, and talked of, in most places, where he was, and what course he was steering: and this nobleman understanding that he had left Judea, and was come

into Galilee; and having inquired in what parts of Galilee he was,

he went unto him; though it was many miles from Capernaum, where Jesus was, at least a day's journey; since, when the servants met their master, the child had been healed at one o'clock the day before; see John 4:52. Some reckon it about fifteen miles, but one would think it should be more:

and besought him, that he would come down; for Capernaum, though it was built on a hill, lay lower down in the country of Galilee than Cana did, near the sea of Tiberias: a like way of speaking is used in John 2:12;

and heal his son. The nobleman believed that Christ had power to do it, by what he had heard concerning him, but thought his corporeal presence was absolutely necessary to it:

for he was at the point of death; or "would die": he was very near it; there was no likelihood of his recovery; the physicians had given him over; and when he left him, he seemed to be near his death, and must die for any human help that could be obtained, or natural means that could be used.

When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
John 4:47-48. Ἀπῆλθε πρὸς αὐτόν] from Capernaum to Cana.

ἵνα] the subject of the request is its purpose.

ἤμελλε] in eo erat, ut. Comp. Luke 7:2; Hemsterhuis, ad Lucian. D. M. II. p. 546.

The man’s prayer is conceivable partly from the first miracle at Cana, and partly from the fame of Jesus which had followed Him from Jerusalem.—“If ye are not witnesses of signs and wonders, ye will certainly not believe,” is spoken in displeasure against the Galileans generally (John 4:45), but including the suppliant; Jesus foreseeing that the healing of his son would make him believe, but at the same time that his faith would not be brought about without a miracle. The Lord’s teaching was in His own view the weightiest ground of faith, especially according to John (comp. John 4:41), though faith based on the miracles was not rejected, but under certain circumstances was even required by Him (John 10:38, John 14:11, John 15:24), though not as the highest, but as of secondary rank, according to the purpose of the miracles, which were intended as a divine confirmation of the teaching. It is incorrect to put the emphasis upon ἴδητε, unless ye see with your own eyes, etc., condemning the prayer following. According to this, not only would ἴδητε have to be put first (against Bengel and Storr), but τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς or the like must be supplied; yet the man saw the miracle, and a greater one than if Jesus had gone with him.

σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα] see on Matthew 24:24; Romans 15:19. As to the reproach itself, comp. 1 Corinthians 1:22.

John 4:47. Having heard ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἥκει, “that Jesus has come into Galilee,” he traces Him to Kana, and begs Him not simply to heal his son, but pointedly ἵνα καταβῇ, to go to Capernaum for the purpose. He considered the presence of Jesus to be necessary [“non putat verbo curare posse,” Melanchthon] (contrast the centurion of Matthew 8); and, being a person of standing, did not scruple to trouble Jesus. Jesus neither refuses nor grants the request at once, but utters the reflection: John 4:48. ἐὰν μὴ σημεῖαπιστεύσητε. Not as a prophet uttering truth, but as a miracle worker He is sought in His own country: Samaria had received Him without miracle, as a Prophet. To seek for a sign, says Melanchthon, “est velle certificari alio modo quam per verbum”. τέρατα here only in John, though frequent in Acts. Faith rooted in “marvels” Jesus put in an inferior place. But the father in his urgent anxiety can only repeat his request (John 4:49) κατάβηθι πρὶν ἀποθανεῖν τὸ παιδίον μου. “Duplex imbecillitas rogantis, quasi Dominus necesse haberet adesse, nec posset aeque resuscitare mortuum” (Bengel). But Jesus, unable to prolong his misery, says πορεύου· ὁ υἱός σου ζῇ. He did not go with him. His cures are independent of material media and even of His presence.

47. that he would come down] Literally, in order that he might come down; comp. John 4:34, John 5:7; John 5:36, John 6:29; John 6:50.

at Capernaum] 20 miles or more from Cana.

John 4:47. Ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας, out of Judea) The nobleman also, without doubt, had seen or heard the things that Jesus had done at Jerusalem: John 4:45, “The Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast.”—καταβῇ, that He would come down) Cana was situated in a higher position.

Verse 47. - This man, when he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, went unto him. This statement implies that Jesus had been in Capernaum before, and left there the impression of his power to heal and save. The rumour of transactions of this kind wrought at Capernaum had been carried from Capernaum to Nazareth (see Luke 4.), and now the return of Jesus from Judaea was soon known in the cities along the shore of the lake. And he besought him (obs. ἠρώτα, indicating to some extent a kind of conscious right to seek the favour) that (ἵνα, in John, often gives the purport of a prayer or a command) he would come down (from the highlands of Galilee to the borders of the lake, sunk as it is in a deep depression) to Capernaum, and heal his son: for he was on the point of death (Vulgate, incipiebat mori; compare and contrast John 12:33). John 4:47He went (ἀπῆλθεν)

Literally, went away (ἀπό). Leaving his son for the time.

Heal (ἰάσηται)

See on Matthew 8:7, and see on Luke 6:19.

At the point of death (ἤμελλεν ἀποθνήσκειν)

Literally, was about to die. Compare Mark's uncouth phrase, ἐσχάτως ἔχει, lieth at the point of death, Mark 5:23, on which see note. Compare also John 12:33.

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