John 4:43-45 (NIV) 43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.
On verses 43-45: After spending two days in Samaria, Jesus heads for Galilee (v43). Why does John mention here that Jesus said “a prophet has no honor in his own country” (v44), especially if Jesus just left Samaria where many put their faith in Him (v41) and was going to Galilee where the Galileans welcomed him (v45)? Scholars have different theories on why. Here’s my thought on why: perhaps John mentions Jesus’ famous saying about a prophet having no honour in his own country because no matter how popular Jesus became in one place (like Samaria), Jesus knew he had to move on to the next until his work was done. In other words, Jesus’ goal wasn’t to build his own kingdom and to chase his own “honor” while on the earth. Rather his goal was to be faithful to his Father’s will, even if it meant foregoing immediate opportunities to be honored, knowing that the honour and glory would come later. Like Jesus,may our goal not be chasing our own honour or building our own kingdom, but may it simply to be faithful to what God called us to do on the earth.
John 4:46-48 (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 miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
On verses 46-48: Jesus returns to Cana where he had turned water into wine at a wedding. Upon his return Jesus is approached by a royal official whose son is dying. The royal official begs Jesus to come and heal his son, to which Jesus replies, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” (v48) Why did Jesus respond this way to the royal official in his time of pain? Maybe it’s because deep down the royal official was questioning why God would allow his son to be in such dire situation. So Jesus’ response in verse 48 is Jesus letting the royal official in on why God allows sickness and disease: to use these situations as an opportunity for God to show His power and glory so that people who might otherwise be far from God would place their faith in Him. Indeed that is what would happen in verse 53 – “so he and all his household believed”.
What can we learn from this? When you are in an extremely tough situation, remember that one of the reasons God allows pain in our lives is so that ultimately God would display His power and glory through the situation, so that many would know Him and believe in Him.
John 4:49-54 (NIV) 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus replied, “You may go. 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, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.” 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 all his household believed. 54 This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
On verses 49-54: I respect the faith of the royal official not just in coming to Jesus with his problem, but even more taking Jesus at his word when Jesus promised, “Your son will live.” That is faith. Instead of requiring that God do things your way, faith is taking Jesus at His Word, believing He will be faithful to His promises and trusting in God’s timing, even when you don’t see anything miraculous at the moment.
Lord Jesus, may I live not for my own honour, glory and fame, but for Your honour, glory and fame. Thank You that in my most painful moments, You are still writing a greater story than anything I could write. Please help me to have faith where instead of demanding that You do things my way, I am happy to take You at Your Word and trust in Your timing, knowing that You are faithful to every promise You make. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!