| John 4:48 – "Then Jesus said
to him, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not
Time: About 27 A.D.
Place: Cana and Jerusalem
Nobleman, and sick man
Scripture: Luke 4:16-28; John
Note: In this, and other stories, Jesus' words
are always direct quotes, and are in blue. Words of others are
not necessarily direct quotes, but any that are, will be in
popularity was gaining momentum. He avoided going again to
Nazareth, the town he grew up in. His recent visit there had
caused quite a stir . . . .
Luke 4: 16-18
He had gone into the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was His
custom, and when He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah,
He read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty
to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable
year of the Lord."
He closed the book in the middle of the sentence, handing
it back to the attendant. He sat down. All eyes were upon Him,
as if expecting Him to explain what He had just read. He went
on: "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in
Some of the people marvelled at His words. What was this
Man saying? Was He declaring that He was the fulfillment of
these Scriptures? Was he not the son of Joseph, the lowly
carpenter? "Let's see some of your signs and wonders," came a
cry from the congregation. "I hear You've turned water into
wine and cast out evil spirits. So why haven't You shown us
any of your signs and wonders here?"
Jesus answered them: "You will surely say
this proverb to Me, 'Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we
have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.'
Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own
country." Jesus reminded the group about Elijah. There
were many lepers in Zarephath, but only Naaman, the Syrian was
Agitation began to stir within the congregation gathered in
the Synagogue. Suddenly their wrath exploded. As if activated
by one mind, the group rose from the floor where they had been
sitting, and rushed at Him. The leaders holding Him in their
grip, the rest of the congregation following, they had led
Jesus out of the city, to the brow of the hill that the city
was built on. Their intentions were clear. They would throw
Him down, thus getting Him out of their midst, and stilling
their conscience, which had been screaming their sins at them
ever since this Man had come amongst them.
Suddenly, just as the leaders were about to carry out their
intentions, He was gone. How could this be? He was
right there! They had Him in their grip. But He was
gone! He had just vanished!* * *
So it was that
when Jesus went back to Cana in Galilee, His fame had preceded
Those that had been at the feast of the Passover in
Jerusalem had heard Him in Synagogue, reading the words of
prophecy. They had seen all the miracles He had performed.
They had spread the word around. Also, the miracle at the
wedding was still fresh in their memory.
The crowd thronged around Him as He entered the city,
anxious to hear what this Prophet had to say. Among the
pushing and shoving crowd was a nobleman, a royal officer of
the King Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Elbowing his
way through the crowd, the nobleman reached Jesus. "Good Sir,"
he said clutching at Him and bowing to the earth. "I am
desperate. I have heard of Your fame and of the miracles You
have performed. I implore You. Please come and heal my son,
for he is dying. Oh, please Sir. I know you can do this.
Although I serve in the palace of King Herod, there is not a
physician there that can help him."
Jesus looked at the man kneeling before Him. He lifted His
voice so that the whole crowd could hear Him, and said: "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will
by no means believe."
"Oh no, my Lord," cried the nobleman. "I do believe. I know
you can heal my son. Your fame has spread all over the
kingdom. Please come quickly before my little boy dies."
Jesus looked at the man. He did not see the pomp that would
have been expected of a man in his position. He saw genuine
humility. With great compassion for this man He said, "Go your way; your son lives."
Jumping to his feet and pushing his way back through the
crowd, the nobleman began his two-day trip back home. His
worry had drained away. As he neared his place, he saw his
servants rushing out to meet him. "Oh sir," one of them
shouted, even before he had reached his master. "Your son is
fine. He's better."
"I know," said the nobleman. "What time was it that his
fever left him?"
The servants looked at their master, surprise in their
eyes. How could he know his son was better? "At
seven in the morning his fever broke," one of the servants
replied. "From then on he began to improve. He is now sitting
up in bed, playing with his toys…. But how, Sir, did you
The nobleman smiled and continued on to the house. The
minute he had heard the words: "Your son
lives", he had believed that Jesus had healed his
child, but now he believed in his heart that Jesus had also
healed his own soul. He gathered all the members of his
household to tell them about the Man who had healed his son
and had the power to heal men's souls. And that day, the whole
household of the nobleman, who served in the palace of King
Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee, believed on the Lord Jesus
* * *
At The Pool
At the entrance to Jerusalem, near the Temple, was a gate
in the wall called "The Sheep Gate," a gate through which the
sheep that were to be used for sacrifices passed. Near this
gate was "The Pool of Bethesda", a sort of 'spa', where people
gathered for therapeutic reasons. Five porches with rows of
ornamental pillars surrounded the pool. A partially covered
area, providing refuge from rain or strong sunlight, was a
place where hundreds of hopeless, homeless invalids
congregated. At certain times an angel of the Lord came down
and stirred up the water. The first person stepping into the
pool after the water was stirred, received healing for
whatever their sickness was: blindness, lameness, paralysis,
or any other malady.
One man lying around the pool eagerly watched the waters,
waiting for the stirring by the angel. He had inched as close
to the edge as he could. This time, surely, he could tumble
into the water. … He saw a stirring. Now was his time. But
just as he was about to roll over the side of the pool, he was
pushed back. He watched as the man who had shoved him away
hobbled into the water and came out shouting and dancing with
happiness that his body had been healed. He lay back down.
Once again the feeling of hopelessness overwhelmed him. He had
been a quadriplegic for thirty-eight years. His friends and
family had long since forgotten him.
It was the
Sabbath, and Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to attend a
Jewish feast. His disciples wondered why He was going out of
His way to go by The Sheep Gate, to the infamous Pool. It was
a place most people avoided. Jesus walked into the midst of
the most despised people of Jerusalem, the maimed and sick,
lying on their mats, waiting—some of them hopelessly—for the
stirring of the water. There was one man in particular that
Jesus wanted to see. He walked over to him. Simply He said:
"Do you want to be healed?"
"Sir," said the sick man. "For thirty-eight years I have
been waiting to be first into the pool to be healed, but each
time as I see the waters stirring and I struggle to get to the
pool, someone else gets there first. I have no one to help
"Rise, take up your bed and walk,"
Jesus said to him.
The man didn't wait one second to ponder over the
impossibility of the command. He jumped up, rolled up his mat
and hurried away from the place he had come to despise.
As he was leaving the pool area, carrying his bedroll, he
ran into some of the Jewish leaders, on their way to the
Temple. Aghast, they gaped at him. "What are you doing,
carrying your bed on the Sabbath? Don't you know that work of
any kind is forbidden on the Sabbath? You are breaking the
The man looked at his accusers and said, "So what! The man
who healed me said, 'Take up your bed and
walk.' So that is what I did."
Who was this person? "WHO said to you,
'Take up you bed and walk'?" His
accusers grabbed him by the arm and demanded who it was who
had broken their sacred laws.
"How am I supposed to know Who He was?" answered the man.
"I have never seen Him before in my life. How could I know? I
have been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Do you think I
would question a Man who has just healed me? Now let me go. I
am on my way to the Temple."
The Jewish leaders let go of the man's arm and went on
their way. The healed man had actually no intention of going
to the Temple, but he went in, none-the-less. Sheepishly he
looked around. After all, it had been a long time since he had
been anywhere, let alone the Temple. As his eyes were
wandering, looking at things he had forgotten existed, a Man
came up to him and spoke: "See, you have been
made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."
Speechless, the former invalid left the Temple, running
directly into the men who had waylaid him. To avoid further
harassment, he blurted out: "Now I know Who it was who said to
me: 'Take up you bed and walk'. I have
just seen Him again. It was Jesus, the Great Prophet. He told
me to 'Go, and sin no more.'"
What? Who did this Man think He was? What right had He
to tell anyone that his sins were forgiven? Does He think He
is God? The leaders were furious. They would find Him.
Oh, yes, they would! And they'd get rid of Him, if it was the
last thing they did!
But once again Jesus slipped through
their fingers, disappearing into the crowd.
© Helen Dowd
with Study 8