Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals an Official's Son

John 4:43-54

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Gives Sight to a Man Born Blind (John 9:1-41)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Opening Prayer

Jesus Begins His Ministry (John 1)
    How did Jesus' ministry begin?
      Luke 3:21-23 = Baptized by John at 30 yrs old, Spirit came on Him
    What was the first thing Jesus did after receiving the Spirit?
      Luke 4:1-2 = Wandered & fasted in the wilderness 40 days (Israel in wild 40 yrs)
    What happened when Jesus returned from the wilderness?
      John 1:26-29, 35-36 = Recognized and introduced by John the Baptist
    How did these two disciples respond to what John said?
      John 1:37-40 = Left John and followed Him
    How did this begin Jesus' work with some who would later become His closest disciples?
      John 1:41-45 = Called John, James, Andrew, Peter, Philip & Nathanael to follow

Jesus' Early Ministry (John 2-4)
    What happened during Jesus' first ministry trip to Galilee? = His disciples put their faith in Him
      John 2:1-3, 11 = He did His first miracle, changing water into wine at Cana
    How long did Jesus spend in Galilee during this first trip?
      John 2:12-13 = Just a few days, then went to Jerusalem for the Passover
    Did Jesus do any miracles while in Jerusalem?
      John 2:23 = Yes, many saw them and became believers

    Why did Jesus decide to go back to Galilee?
      John 3:22; 4:1-3 = The Pharisees were trying to show He was competing with John
    What happened during Jesus' trip to Galilee?
      John 4:4, 6-7, 28-29 = He talked with a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well (last week)
    What resulted from this encounter? = Despised Samaritans believed before many Jews
      John 4:39-42 = He stayed 2 days and many of the town became believers

No Place to Call a Home (Luke 4:42-43)
    Why didn't Jesus stay in Sychar longer than two days? = This is why He traveled alot
      Luke 4:42-43 = He was sent to teach throughout many towns, not just one
    Did Jesus ever settle down in one place long enough to call it home?
      Luke 9:58 = No, the Son of Man has no place to lay His head

No Place Like Home (John 4:43-44)
    Why did Jesus pass by His hometown of Nazareth as He came into Galilee?
      John 4:43-44 = A prophet has no honor in his own country
    How was this shown when Jesus did later visit Nazareth during this tour?
      Luke 4:16, 22, 28-30 = They tried to throw Him over a cliff for blaspheming
    Had anything like this happened to others called by God?
      Jeremiah 1:1; 11:21 = Jeremiah's hometown neighbors wanted to kill him
      Genesis 37:19-20 = Joseph's brothers wanted to kill him for the dreams God gave him
      1 Samuel 17:28 = David's brother, Eliab, hated him for thinking he could fight Goliath
      Acts 17:5 = The Jews in Thessalonica wanted to kill Paul (Paul was a Jew)

A Galilean Welcome (John 4:45-46)
    What did Jesus warn about those who reject the message God sends to them?
      Matthew 21:34-35, 40-41 = He'll give it to others who will take it & produce its fruit
    Was it just Nazareth, or did people throughout Galilee reject Jesus?
      John 4:45 = The Galileans gave Him a good welcome, they had seen Him in Jerusalem
    Where did Jesus go first when he came into Galilee?
      John 4:46a = Cana, where He had performed His first miracle, Nathaniel's home
    How many other miracles had Jesus done in Galilee?
      John 4:54 = None, today's story gives us the second one - also in Cana, first remote
    Had Jesus performed any other miracles elsewhere? = Yes, during His work in Judea
      John 3:1-2 = Even Pharisees recognized that God had to be with Him

A Father's Love (John 4:46)
    How does John begin this story?
      John 4:46b = A royal official in Capernaum had a very sick son
    Who does tradition tell us this official was?
      Luke 8:3 = Chuza, King Herod's household manager (Joanna was his wife)

A Royal Official Begs (John 4:47)
    What did this concerned father do when he heard that Jesus was in Cana, 20 miles away?
      John 4:47 = He walked to Cana (>1 day) and begged Jesus to come heal his son
    What example does David give us of the concern a parent has for a sick child?
      2 Samuel 12:15-18 = David fasted and pleaded with God for Bathsheba's son to live

    What warning does Jesus give us about the natural strong love a parent has for a child?
      Matthew 10:37 = Family love is great, but love for Jesus should be stronger
    What great Old Testament example do we have of a loving father with his priorities in order?
      Genesis 22:2, 9-12 = Abraham would even sacrifice his only son Isaac for God

Miracles (John 4:48)
    How did Jesus feel about His miracles being seen as results rather than as leading to faith?
      John 4:48 = He reprimanded people for needing signs before faith, official had faith first
    Did Jesus do miracles to create faith in people?
      Mark 5:25, 27-29, 34 = His miracles revealed and strengthened peoples' faith
    Did faith need to be present before Jesus would do a miracle?
      Mark 6:5-6 = Yes
    Were any miracles given to those who had no faith in Jesus?
      Matthew 12:38-40 = Jesus' resurrection after 3 days (the sign of Jonah)

    What about those who witnessed a miracle and still didn't believe?
      John 15:24-25 = They would be condemned as hating both the Father & the Son
    Does this mean we should believe that any miraculous sign we see is from Christ?
      Matthew 24:23-25 = No, there will be false christs who will do miracles to deceive

A Faith Displayed (John 4:49-50)
    Was the official offended by Jesus' rebuke about needing to see signs?
      John 4:49 = No, his concern was for his child and he knew only Jesus could save him
    Did Jesus recognize the faith that this official had?
      John 4:50a = Yes, He told the man his son was healed and to go home
    Would this man accept Jesus' word after a full day's journey and go back without Him?
      John 4:50b = Yes, he went back without doubting Jesus' word

    How does the definition of faith given in Hebrews fit this official?
      Hebrews 11:1 = The only way he could go back without Jesus was by faith
    Do we need to have this strong of a faith before God will use us in His service?
      Judges 6:36-40 = Gideon doubted & made God perform two signs, God still used him
    So if God can still use us despite weak faith, why should we desire to grow in faith?
      Matthew 17:20 = Because God and His tremendous power will be with us
    What happens to our faith as we persevere and serve Him?
      2 Thessalonians 1:3 = Our faith will grow more and more

A Faith Strengthened (John 4:51-53)
    How was the official's faith strengthened as he walked back home?
      John 4:51 = He learned that his son was healed
    What more does the next verse tell us about the official's faith?
      John 4:52 = He trusted Jesus so much, he even waited until the next day to return
    How long had it taken for Jesus' word to work?
      John 4:53a = The son was healed immediately, it was not gradual

Faith of Our Fathers (John 4:53)
    What impact did this have on the official's faith?
      John 4:53b = It was further strengthened, his family's faith was also built
    Can the strong faith of a parent really impact the faith of a child or family?
      Genesis 18:18-19 = Abraham's family was blessed by growing in the faith A directed
    What responsibility do we have as parents?
      Deuteronomy 4:9 = Teach our children what God has done for us, Build their faith
    Is it our fault if our children reject the faith we try to pass on?
      Ezekiel 18:20 = No, The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father...

    Who did Paul say was responsible for making faith grow?
      1 Corinthians 3:5-7 = Our job is to plant the seed & water it; God will make it grow
    Since God makes it grow, does He really need our help?
      Matthew 9:37-38 = Yes, He needs us to work His fields
    So, are we to plant the seeds, water them, cultivate or harvest the crop?
      1 Corinthians 3:8-9 = We each are called to different tasks in His field
    Are some of these different kinds of service more Godly than others?
      1 Corinthians 12:4-7 = Triune God works different works through each of us to His good

Strength in Crisis (Romans 8:28)
    What verses can we remember to emulate the official's faith when we encounter crises?
      Romans 8:28 = ... in all things God works for the good of those who love Him
      Philippians 4:19 = God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches
      Matthew 7:7 = Ask & it will be given to you; seek & you will find; knock & the door ...

Closing Prayer

From Our Daily Bread, RBC Ministries

Romans 8:28 - how easily and how often this Bible reference rolls off our tongues! But perhaps we need to grasp more fully what this verse is really saying.

Randy Alcorn, in a book he has co-authored with his wife Nanci offers some insights on Romans 8:28. He quotes the NASB translation: God causes all things to work together for good. Randy points out that it doesn't say each individual thing is good, but that God works them together for good.

Recalling his boyhood days, Randy tells how he often watched his mother bake cakes. One day when she had all the ingredients set out - flour, sugar, baking powder, raw egg, vanilla - he sneaked a taste of each one. Except for the sugar, they all tasted horrible. Then his mother stirred them together and put the batter in the oven. "It didn't make sense to me," he recalls, "That the combination of individually distasteful things produced such a tasty product."

Randy concludes that God likewise "takes all the undesirable stresses in our lives, mixes them together, puts them under the heat of crisis, and produces a perfect result."

Let's look beyond our immediate circumstances and remember that God has an ultimate good purpose.

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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