“The royal official
Said to Jesus.
Before my little
αὐτὸν ὁ βασιλικός Κύριε, κατάβηθι πρὶν ἀποθανεῖν τὸ παιδίον μου
uniquely indicated that once again this royal official asked Jesus (λέγει πρὸς
αὐτὸν ὁ βασιλικός), calling him Lord (Κύριε), to come (κατάβηθι) before his
child died (πρὶν ἀποθανεῖν τὸ παιδίον μου).
The other story in Luke, chapter 7:2-6, had a longer discussion
about whether Jesus should cure a non-Jewish person, where this centurion said that
Jesus only had to say the word and his son would be healed. In Matthew, chapter 8:7, Jesus simply
said that he would come. Here there is
the simple plea from this royal official.
Do you ask Jesus for help?
To the royal
You will not
εἶπεν οὖν ὁ
Ἰησοῦς πρὸς αὐτόν Ἐὰν μὴ σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα ἴδητε, οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε.
uniquely indicated that Jesus seemed to speak to all around him with the plural
you instead of the singular. He appeared
to reprimand the royal official and those with him. Jesus said to this royal official (εἶπεν οὖν
ὁ Ἰησοῦς πρὸς αὐτόν) that unless they saw signs and wonders (Ἐὰν μὴ σημεῖα καὶ
τέρατα ἴδητε) they would not believe (οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε). Signs (σημεῖα) or wonders were important
themes of his gospel, since John used this term for signs, σημεῖα,
nearly 20 times.
To ask Jesus
To come down
And heal his
He was at
ἀκούσας ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἥκει ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς αὐτὸν καὶ ἠρώτα ἵνα
καταβῇ καὶ ἰάσηται αὐτοῦ τὸν υἱόν· ἤμελλεν γὰρ ἀποθνήσκειν.
indicated that this royal official had heard (οὗτος ἀκούσας) that Jesus had
come from Judea (ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἥκει ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας) into Galilee (εἰς τὴν
Γαλιλαίαν). He went to Jesus (ἀπῆλθεν
πρὸς αὐτὸν). He asked Jesus (καὶ ἠρώτα)
to come down (ἵνα καταβῇ) to cure or heal his son (καὶ ἰάσηται αὐτοῦ τὸν υἱόν) who
was about to die (ἤμελλεν γὰρ ἀποθνήσκειν).
There are somewhat equivalent stories in Matthew, chapter 8:5-13,
and Luke chapter 7:1-10, with some differences. Matthew, chapter 8:5-6, said that a
non-Jewish Roman centurion came to Jesus (προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ἑκατόνταρχος)
beseeching, imploring, asking, or appealing to him (παρακαλῶν αὐτὸν). Thus, this centurion (ἑκατόνταρχος) was a
Roman soldier in charge of 100 men, who also may have had more authority, as
part of the Roman occupying troops of Galilee.
This Roman centurion called Jesus “Lord,” (καὶ
λέγων Κύριε). He said that one of his
young servants or slaves was at his home paralyzed (ὁ παῖς μου βέβληται ἐν τῇ
οἰκίᾳ παραλυτικός) and in a great deal of trouble or torment (δεινῶς
βασανιζόμενος). Luke, chapter
7:2, had a more elaborate story. He also
said that a centurion (Ἑκατοντάρχου) had a certain slave
(δέ τινος δοῦλος), whom he valued highly (ὃς ἦν αὐτῷ ἔντιμος), that was ill (κακῶς). He was close to death (ἔχων ἤμελλεν τελευτᾶν). Notice that Matthew and Luke
had the sick person as a servant of the centurion, while John said here
that that the sick person was the son of a royal official. In any case, he was asking for help from
Jesus. Do you ask Jesus for help with
Where he had
Ἦλθεν οὖν πάλιν εἰς τὴν Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, ὅπου
ἐποίησεν τὸ ὕδωρ οἶνον. Καὶ ἦν τις βασιλικὸς οὗ ὁ υἱὸς ἠσθένει ἐν Καφαρναούμ·
indicated that Jesus came to Cana in Galilee again (Ἦλθεν οὖν πάλιν εἰς τὴν
Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας). In case you forgot,
John reminded everyone that Cana was the place where Jesus had turned
water into wine (ὅπου ἐποίησεν τὸ ὕδωρ οἶνον).
There was a royal official (Καὶ ἦν τις βασιλικὸς) who had a sick son (οὗ
ὁ υἱὸς ἠσθένει) in Capernaum (ἐν Καφαρναούμ).
Capernaum was about 15 miles from Cana.
There is a clear connection between Cana and Capernaum as in chapter
2. Remember, Jesus stayed two days at
Capernaum. Luke, chapter 7:1, had
this miracle take place in Capernaum, Jesus’
headquarters in Galilee. Mark, chapter 2:1, indicated that Capernaum
was now Jesus’s new home. According to Matthew, chapter 4:13, Capernaum had
become Jesus’ own home town. Capernaum was a
fishing village of about 1,500 people, on the northwest seaside corner of the
Sea of Galilee. This royal official
was probably a Gentile official of Herod Antipas (20 BCE-39 CE), the Roman tetrarch
ruler of Galilee, whose father was Herod the Great. Herod Antipas was a young man when he took
over part of his deceased father’s power by order of the Roman Emperor Caesar
Augustus about 4 BCE. This Herod Antipas
made the capital of Galilee at Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee, named after the
Emperor Tiberius. Thus, this royal
official from Capernaum came to see Jesus in Cana, but Capernaum was basically
the headquarters for Jesus and his followers.
Have you ever had a sick child?
All that he
At the festival,
Had gone to
ὅὅτε οὖν ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, ἐδέξαντο αὐτὸν οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι, πάντα ἑωρακότες ὅσα ἐποίησεν ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ· καὶ αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν.
uniquely indicated that the Galileans (οἱ Γαλιλαῖοι) seemed to accept Jesus (ἐδέξαντο
αὐτὸν) when he returned there (τε οὖν ἦλθεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν). They had seen all the great things that he had
done (πάντα ἑωρακότες ὅσα ἐποίησεν) in Jerusalem (ἐν Ἱεροσολύμοις), during the
festival (ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ). Many of these
Galileans had also gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover festival (καὶ
αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἦλθον εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν). Notice
that even his hometown Galileans seem to accept him better than the Jews of
Judea, especially those around the Jerusalem temple. This is similar to what the synoptics said,
but they only had Jesus go to Jerusalem at the end of his life, not at the beginning
of his ministry. Would you welcome
Has no honor
In his own
Ἰησοῦς ἐμαρτύρησεν ὅτι προφήτης ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ πατρίδι τιμὴν οὐκ ἔχει.
indicated that Jesus testified (αὐτὸς γὰρ Ἰησοῦς ἐμαρτύρησεν) to the saying
that a prophet (ὅτι προφήτης) does not have honor or value (τιμὴν οὐκ ἔχει) in
his own country, native place, or hometown (ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ πατρίδι). Something like this saying
about no honor for prophets in their hometown can be found in all three synoptic
gospels, Mark, Matthew, and Luke, indicating
that Jesus did not do well in his own home town. Mark,
chapter 6:4,said that Jesus told them (καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that prophets are not without
honor or not despised (ὅτι Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης
ἄτιμος), except in their own country or hometown (εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ), among their own relatives (καὶ ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν αὐτοῦ), and in their own
house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ). Luke, chapter 4:24, said that Jesus told them (εἶπεν δέ) with a solemn
pronouncement (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that no prophet (ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης) was accepted
in his own hometown (δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ). Matthew,
chapter 13:57, indicated that Jesus said to
them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that prophets are not without honor or not
despised (Οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος), except in their own country or hometown (εἰ
μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι) and in their own house (καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ). Jesus did not do many miracles there (καὶ οὐκ
ἐποίησεν ἐκεῖ δυνάμεις πολλὰς), because of their unbelief (διὰ τὴν ἀπιστίαν
αὐτῶν). The prophets would not be honored
among their own hometown, relatives, and in their own house. Things are always more difficult for prophets
in their own home town. This was also
common among the Hebrew prophets, especially the Israelite prophets Jeremiah
and Amos. Are
you honored in your home town?
“When the two
Μετὰ δὲ τὰς δύο ἡμέρας ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.
indicated that after these two days had passed (Μετὰ δὲ τὰς δύο ἡμέρας) in
Samaria, Jesus left there (ἐξῆλθεν
ἐκεῖθεν). Then he went into
Galilee (εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), a
little further north. Returning or going
to Galilee was much in line with the synoptic canonical gospels, since much of
the ministry of Jesus took place in Galilee in those gospel stories. Are you familiar with the “man from Galilee”?