St. John’s Gospel (12) - The King's Man (John 4)
The Resurrection Manifest in St. John’s Gospel (05) - The King’s Man Believes
John 4:43–54 - After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. . . . Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.” 49 The royal official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. . . .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. 54 This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
The King’s Man was Challenged - The identity of this “royal official” (basilikos) could be: Chuza (“Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward”) or Manaen (“who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch”). This man of the king asked Jesus to heal his son (ouios v47). The challenge of this “royal official” comes when Jesus speaks to motive (v48). At that point the man could have argued or become defensive. Rather, he pleads, “Lord, come down before my child (paidion) dies.” He appeals for mercy (child/paidion). He is not distracted from the purpose of seeking healing for his son. We don’t get what we don’t ask for.
The King’s Man had Confidence - Now light has come, this man accepts/receives Jesus at His word (4:50): “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off ” on a trip of about 20 miles. Confirmation comes to him in the synchronization of Jesus’s word with the time of healing (v53). The result is that (again), “he himself believed and his whole household” (4:53). The conclusion of this pericope marks a second sign to these Galileans: “This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (4:53). The Gospel shows that there are different responses to the offer of Christ. Some are doubtful (John 2:24). Some are ambiguous (John 3, Nicodemus). Some are hopeful (John 4, woman at the well/Samaritans). In this case, a king’s man (basilikos) believes. Jesus is a Savior of all kinds. Don’t be prejudiced for or against different classes of people.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more