John 4:49
The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
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(49) Ere my child die.—But human sorrow is the birth-pang of faith. The sense of utter powerlessness leads the soul to cast itself on the Strong One for strength. The faith is still weak, but it is there. It does not realise that Christ can speak the word and heal the child, but it does feel that His presence could save him, and pleads as a father for his son. “Come down, ere my child die.”

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.Come down ... - The earnestness of the nobleman evinces the deep and tender anxiety of a father. So anxious was he for his son that he was not willing that Jesus should delay a moment - not even to address the people. He still seems to have supposed that Jesus had no power to heal his son except he was present with him. 49. come down ere my child die—"While we talk, the case is at its crisis, and if Thou come not instantly, all is over." This was faith, but partial, and our Lord would perfect it. The man cannot believe the cure could be wrought without the Physician coming to the patient—the thought of such a thing evidently never occurred to him. But Jesus will in a moment bring him up to this. The courtier, though probably of spirit enough to have shown some discontent at our Saviour’s no kinder answer to him before, yet was so intent upon his son’s life, that he takes no notice of it, but renews his request, still discovering the weakness of his faith, as thinking that Christ’s personal presence was necessary to the life of his son.

The nobleman saith unto him, Sir,.... Notwithstanding this reproof, and seeming denial, he presses him again, and addressing him in a handsome and courteous manner, importunately entreats him, saying:

come down ere my son die; here was faith with a mixture of unbelief; he believed that Christ was able to heal his son, but he still thought that his going down with him was necessary; that he must be corporeally present, and must lay his hands on him, or touch him, or speak, and command the distemper off, or something of this kind, and which must be done before he died; for otherwise, should he die first, all hope was then gone; he had no notion of Christ being able to raise him from the dead.

The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
John 4:49-50. Then follows a still more urgent entreaty of the father’s love, tried by the answer of Jesus; the τὸ παιδίον μου, my child, being in keeping with the father’s tender affection. Comp. Mark 5:23.

Jesus rewards his confidence with the short answer, Go thy way, thy son liveth; thus announcing the deliverance from death accomplished at that very moment by an act of His will through miraculous power operating at a distance (not by magnetic healing power, against Olshausen, Krabbe, Kern, thus resorting to a sphere as foreign to the miracles of healing as it is inadequate by way of an explanation). As little can Christ’s word be regarded as a medical prognosticon (Paulus, comp. Ammon). No more is there any trace in the text of an effect resulting from faith in general, and the spiritual movement of the masses (Weizsäcker). According to the text, Jesus speaks from a conscious knowledge of the crisis of the sickness, effected that moment at a distance by Himself: “Thy son is not dead, but liveth!”

ἐπιστ. τῷ λόγῳ] Thus he now overleaps the limit of faith which supposed Christ’s presence necessary to the working of the cure; he believed the word, i.e. had confidence in its realization.

49. ere my child die] This shews both the man’s faith and its weakness. He believes that Christ’s presence can save the child; he does not believe that He can save him without being present.

John 4:49. Κατάβηθι, come down) The weakness of the suppliant is twofold, as though the Lord had need to he present, and could not equally revive the dead. And yet even before that the parent went down, his son was restored to life.

Verse 49. - The nobleman saith unto him, Lord, come down before my little boy (my only son) die (comp. Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief;" and, again, the words of the woman of Syro-Phoenicia, who will not be put off, "Even the dogs eat of the crumbs," Matthew 15:27, etc.). This touching stroke shows how love triumphs over the desire for signs and wonders, and already helps to create the faith in the grace and power of the Divine Helper. John 4:49Child (παιδίον)

Diminutive. Literally, my little one; a touch of tenderness.

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