Many people today live by the slogan, “Expect a Miracle.”

Should I expect a miracle? Should I look for a miracle? Let us consider that question in light of an account of an amazing miracle of healing that our Lord performed—“ the second miracle that Jesus did” (John 4:54).

In John 4:43-54, we find the outline of this genuine miracle that Jesus performed for a specific purpose—healing the nobleman’s son.

In the context, we see that Jesus had been in attendance at the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem, where He performed many miracles—causing many people to believe in Him (cf. John 2:23; 4:43-45). Jesus was now on His way to Galilee—having also performed miracles in Samaria—to build an honorable base in His home area.

From that setting, we prepare to follow Jesus into His ministry “into Cana of Galilee” (John 4:46; cf. 2:1).

Capernaum is literally the Village of Nahum. We do not know if this village was named for the minor prophet by that name, but in any case it became the headquarters for Jesus’ ministry and was the location where several miracles and other important events took place.

The nobleman that Jesus ministered to was, by virtue of his title, associated with King Herod. The fact that he is called “a certain nobleman” (v. 46) reinforces that fact that this account is based in true history. We do not know the exact identity of this man, although two possibilities are suggested, which are found in Luke 8:3 (Chuza) and Acts 13:1 (Manaen). Either of these could have been classified as a “nobleman.”

Cana is just south of the Sea of Galilee, while Capernaum is on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. This nobleman had followed the progress of Jesus’ trek “out of Judaea into Galilee” (John 4:47) to Cana, and went to meet the Lord there in Cana “and besought him that he would come down”—from 300 feet above sea level in Cana to 700 feet below sea level in Capernaum. Furthermore, in the Bible, anyone going away from Jerusalem, you would certainly be going down in the estimation of any good Jew. Likewise, anyone going toward Jerusalem could be said to be going up.

What was this nobleman’s concern? He wanted Jesus to “heal his son: for he was at the point of death” (John 4:47). The resources of this world had been exhausted; he had no other means of hope for his son.

Surely, anyone with a son can relate to this man’s concern and desire for his son to be healed. Anyone in a similar crisis might likewise naturally think of asking for a miracle. That would even be the appropriate thing to do in light of the fact that we serve the omnipotent God.

But our real question here is not, Should I ask for a miracle? Rather, it is, Should I look for a miracle? Should I expect a miracle?

We have spent much time in this installment setting the context to help us more fully answer that overarching question. In the conclusion, we will make draw specific lessons from this wonderful text that will help us to resolve this issue, which perplexes so many.

Editor’s Note: This blog article is taken from the following sermon, which you can watch in its entirety here:

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2016 Dispensational Publishing House, Inc.

Scripture taken from the King James Version.