New Beginnings in Family John 4:43-54 (Abbreviated version of my notes)
The most important thing you can do for your family is to trust Jesus.
Key Truth: New beginnings in family happens when you trust Jesus not what He can do for you but who He is in you.
Six principles from this passage:
43-44 And after the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44 For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.
Keep it in context. Jesus had been to Samaria and experienced tremendous success. People believed “Because of His word”, vs 41
Principle #1: Success is not based on the response of others but our response of submission to the Lord God.
Jesus left Samaria and came back to Galilee. Jesus’ concern was not in SUCCESS but in SUBMISSION to the Father. He returned to Galilee even as he himself testified that “a prophet has no honor in his own country.” Everything Jesus did was perfect. He is the perfect example of what it means to live in the fullness of God the way God intended us to live. So how do we see that being fleshed out? How can I flesh that out?
Jesus said every single thing he did was in keeping with the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Every single word he spoke was in keeping with the Father. Every decision he made was yielded to the Father.
45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.
The bible records that they “received Him.” They welcomed him. They were excited that he was there. But as we quickly see in the passage and in life, people may be quick to receive and rejoice over someone with a depth of reception that is paper thin.
Christ’s time in Samaria. He was well received. The Samaritans listened to him and believed in him. Why didn’t Jesus remain there or go into places where he would be honored as Messiah? Because Jesus was not interested in self-satisfaction he was interested in being totally submissive to the Father. God’s ways are different from our ways.
It reminds us that our success is not in the response of others, but in our faithfulness to obey the Lord God. We are commissioned to make disciples. We will either look at that through man’s eyes and think about how successful we are at doing that OR we will obey the commission of Christ and make disciples and that in itself will be successful.
Matthew 4:12-16 teaches us why Jesus went back to the Galilean region:
…He withdrew into Galilee; 13 and leaving Nazareth, He came and settled in Capernaum, … 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, … 15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali , By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles — 16 “The people who were sitting in darkness saw a great light , … NASB
Principle #2: Anchor your life in the person of Christ, not in the sensationalism of signs.
Their reception of Jesus was based on His miracles. They looked at Jesus’ performance instead of His person, his Glory and his life-giving words. They would follow him as long as he would do what they wanted him to do. This is the point of this miracle. We are challenged in our motives. We are to examine WHY we follow Christ.
Is our “followship” because of what Jesus can do for us or it is because of who He is and he is worthy of our worship and surrender and adoration, not because he can heal or perform a miracle but because he is perfect, righteous, holy, love, grace, and truth.
46 He came therefore again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain royal official, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him, and was requesting Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death.
A man of position and prosperity. He was a “Nobleman” or royal official. He belonged to Herod’s court. The royal official left Capernaum at sunrise and could have reached Cana at noon at the 7th hour, 1:00 pm. He heard Jesus’s words and then headed back. He would have been able to complete only half of his journey in the same day leaving so late so his servants would have met him in the plain of Gennesaret the following day. From Capernaum to Cana is about 14 miles, a day’s journey. Cana was in the hill country and Capernaum was at sea level.
All people of all positions in life have challenges, trials, and problems. The rich have their troubles as well as the poor.
The ONLY reason this father came running after Christ had to do with his anxious heart over a TRIAL. Had it not been for this trial, this royal official would never have given Jesus a second thought.
Ps 120:1 In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me.
Deut 32:15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked- You are grown fat, thick, and sleek- Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
Hos 5:15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
The entire book of Judges is how God allowed the people to suffer the consequences of their choices so they would turn to Him.
Principe #3 Trails reveal the focus of our faith.
The issue of suffering is as old as humanity. In my devotional time this past week the Lord reminded me that the very first parents, Adam and Eve experienced the death of a child and at the same time the devastation of learning that their son died at the hands of his own brother.
Here’s what I wrote:
That really begs the question as to why God didn’t prevent Cain from killing righteous Abel. Surely God could have done that! No doubt. Maybe another question is ‘where would God stop preventing people from making really poor choices?’ If God would have prevented Cain from killing Abel, then why not back up further and prevent Adam from eating the forbidden fruit? Why allow the serpent to deceive Eve?
No one wants to be a robot. Few want to be forced into a decision. The essence of love is choice. Most people do not want to force someone to love them. God desires a relationship with you that is not forced. Love does not coerce. Love chooses. God gives us the freedom to choose. At some point when sin is crouching at our door, we must decide to cast ourselves on God or on sin.
Sin has horrid consequences in life. Tragedies will either drive us to God or away from God. This man ran to Jesus but his only agenda was for his son’s healing. This man wasn’t preoccupied with knowing God, he was only interested in one thing: Will God do what I want him to do!!! Jesus’ rebuke as one commentator writes, were “designed to challenge this desperate, concerned father to go beyond self-interest and to recognize Jesus as more than a miracle worker” but to acknowledge his true identity.
Regardless of what drives you to God, whatever your hurt or pain, at some point in that process you will be challenged to set aside your agenda and submit to Christ as Lord and that means you submit to His agenda – whatever that may be OR you will run away from God with a heart filled with disappointment and disillusionment.
Remember, the first grave ever dug on this planet was for a young man. Do not take tomorrow for granted! Parents, remember that life is short and your responsibility is to prepare your children for eternity with a far greater emphasis than you prepare them for a social outing or sports or school.
48 Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.”
DA Carson writes about this: “Jesus detects in the royal official a welcome and a faith that desires a cure but that does not truly trust him.” so he demonstrates what is really the issue with the Galilean as a whole –
Principle #4 The foundation of our faith is the words, not the wonders, of Christ.
Too much interest in the miracles themselves is spiritually dangerous. Miracles in and of themselves do not illicit genuine faith…
49 The royal official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he started off.
Remember that Jesus will not be manipulated. This Gentile’s son was healed by the power of the Word of Jesus.
Principle #5 New beginnings takes place in a family when we trust Jesus.
This man believed the WORD of Jesus. Jesus’ words bring life. John 6:63
John 6:33 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” NASB
This man “Believed and went his way.”
51 And as he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. 52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”
Notice that he did not rush home that day…
53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”; and he himself believed, and his whole household.
The impact of a believing father….
Principle #6 A father’s faith dramatically impacts his family.