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word implies, whose son was sick at Capernaum. The fame of the miracles of Christ had reached the ears of this man, notwithstanding his elevated rank; and therefore when he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea 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. The child it seems had a malignant fever; all the means used for his recovery had failed, and he was apparently at death's door. The nobleman therefore having heard of the wonderful cures that were performed by the Lord Jesus, as his last resource went in quest of the Saviour, in the hope that he might be able to prevail on Him to visit Capernaum, and heal his son.
He met with Jesus at Cana,31 whither He had come from Nazareth, and besought Him to hasten at once to Capernaum, that He might arrive in time to restore his son, before death should have put an end to the possibility of the application of any remedies. By the manner in which he spoke, he manifested that he was not aware of the Divine power of our blessed Saviour. He supposed that it was needful for Jesus to be personally present, like any other physician, in order to effect the desired cure; and had no idea of His ability to recal any one to life, after the spirit had once departed.
31 Jobn iv. 46.
Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. Here our Saviour reproved the man's incredulity in limiting His power, as if He were unable to work miracles unless the object were present.
It was as if He had said, The miracle must be wrought before your eyes, or you will not believe in Me. Another Evangelist shows that the unbelief of the Nazarenes prevented Jesus from doing any mighty works at Nazareth. When He opened His commission to them, they expressed their contempt of Him on account of His mean parentage and education ; and afterwards were so enraged against Him, as to endeavour to put Him to death, by leading Him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him doum headlong.3 The same kind of reception our Saviour knew awaited Him in other places. And although His first public miracle had been wrought in Cana of Galilee, where He turned the water into wine at a marriage feast ;33 yet He knew that this was not sufficient to induce the people to believe in Him. Something signally wonderful must still be displayed before their eyes, in order to convince them of His real character. The reply referred doubtless to the case of the people who surrounded Him, as well as to that of the
82 Luke iv. 29.
33 John ii. 9.
nobleman. They must
They must have the evidence afforded by their own sight, or they would not believe in Him; they would not receive the doctrine which He taught.
The answer of our Saviour increased the man's urgency to have his case attended to immediately. The nobleman saith unto Him, Sir, come down ere my child die. But instead of complying with the request, and proceeding to Capernaum, our Saviour, while He encouraged the man's hope, tried his faith. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. This was enough. The nobleman had gone to Him with a belief in His ability to heal his son's disease; and he was satisfied that what He had said would
prove to be the truth. The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. He returned at once to his own house, to witness the truth of the declaration of Jesus, believing that his child was restored to health.
It being seven o'clock in the evening, the day was too far advanced for him to reach his home the same night; but on the following day, as he was now going down towards Capernaum, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. They cheered him with a confirmation of the truth of the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, addressing him in the very same words which he had before heard with so great satisfaction and delight; Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him: all at once, in a most extraordinary manner, he became quite well; although just before he seemed as if he was ready to sink under the violence of the disorder. So the father knew that it was at the same hour in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth, that this wonderful change took place in his child; and himself believed, and his whole house. Gratitude filled his heart for the favour conferred upon him; from thenceforth he became a firm believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; and with his household acknowledged Him as the true Messiah, that Prophet, which, according to the holy Scriptures of the Old Testament, should come into the world. 34 For he found Him to be one whose power was not limited by space, one who was acquainted with what passed at a distance, as well as near at hand, and who was able to controul events as it pleased Him.
The Evangelist remarks, This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judea into Galilee. The village of Cana was thus honoured as the place where Jesus manifested forth His glory, for the confirmation of the faith of His disciples, and the benefit of the needy and distressed. As this
34 John vi. 14.
35 John ii. 11.
miracle has been evidently recorded for the purpose of promoting our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: let us consider more particularly in the
First place, The character of our blessed Saviour as it is here exhibited :
Secondly, The conduct of the nobleman: And Thirdly, The benefits which resulted from it.
And may the Holy Spirit of God be pleased to reveal to our hearts the things of Christ, to His glory and to our comfort, that our faith in the Saviour of sinners may be increased, and our hope of receiving blessings from Him, far beyond our deserts, encouraged and strengthened.
First, The character of our Lord Jesus Christ is here set before us, as affording indubitable evidence of His Divine power. This was proved by all His miracles ; but this miracle had in it circumstances peculiar to itself. The power
of Christ was here manifested in healing a person who was in the last stage of a malignant fever, at the point of death, when all hope of recovery had been given up. This was beyond the power
of human means to effect. Human skill had, no doubt, been exerted to the utmost, and had failed of accomplishing the desired object; or the nobleman would not have thought of applying to Christ to heal his son.
The reremoval of the disorder therefore clearly evinced the Divine power of our Lord Jesus Christ. But this was more fully manifested in the means