Come before my boy dies! (Jn 4:49-4:49)

“The royal official

Said to Jesus.


Come down

Before my little boy


λέγει πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ βασιλικός Κύριε, κατάβηθι πρὶν ἀποθανεῖν τὸ παιδίον μου

John 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?

The need for signs (Jn 4:48-4:48)

“Then Jesus said

To the royal official.

‘Unless all of you

See signs

And wonders,

You will not believe.’”

εἶπεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς πρὸς αὐτόν Ἐὰν μὴ σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα ἴδητε, οὐ μὴ πιστεύσητε.

John 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.

The royal official went to Jesus (Jn 4:47-4:47)

“When this royal official


That Jesus

Had come

From Judea

To Galilee,

He went

To ask Jesus

To come down

And heal his son.

He was at the point

Of death.”

οὗτος 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.

John 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 sick people?

Jesus was in Cana again (Jn 4:46-4:46)

“Then Jesus

Came again

To Cana

In Galilee,

Where he had made

The water

Into wine.

Now there was

A royal official

Whose son lay ill

In Capernaum.”

Ἦλθεν οὖν πάλιν εἰς τὴν Κανὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, ὅπου ἐποίησεν τὸ ὕδωρ οἶνον. Καὶ ἦν τις βασιλικὸς οὗ ὁ υἱὸς ἠσθένει ἐν Καφαρναούμ·

John uniquely 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?

The Galileans welcome Jesus (Jn 4:45-4:45)

“When Jesus

Came to Galilee,

The Galileans

Welcomed him.

They had seen

All that he had done

In Jerusalem

At the festival,

Since they too

Had gone to the festival.”

ὅτε 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.

John 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 Jesus?

Jesus had no honor in his own country (Jn 4:44-4:44)

“Jesus testified

That a prophet

Has no honor

In his own country.”

αὐτὸς γὰρ Ἰησοῦς ἐμαρτύρησεν ὅτι προφήτης ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ πατρίδι τιμὴν οὐκ ἔχει.

John 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?

Jesus departs for Galilee (Jn 4:43-4:43)

When the two days

Were over,

Jesus went

From that place

To Galilee.”

Μετὰ δὲ τὰς δύο ἡμέρας ἐξῆλθεν ἐκεῖθεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν.

John 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”?

The Samaritans had heard for themselves (Jn 4:42-4:42)

“The Samaritans said

To the woman.

‘It is no longer

Because of

What you said

That we believe.

We have heard

For ourselves.

We know

That he is truly

The Savior of the world.’”

τῇ τε γυναικὶ ἔλεγον ὅτι Οὐκέτι διὰ τὴν σὴν λαλιὰν πιστεύομεν· αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀκηκόαμεν, καὶ οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς ὁ Σωτὴρ τοῦ κόσμου.

John uniquely indicated that the Samaritans told this unnamed Samaritan woman who was at the well (τῇ τε γυναικὶ ἔλεγον) that they believed (πιστεύομεν) in Jesus, not simply because of her verbal presentation (ὅτι Οὐκέτι διὰ τὴν σὴν λαλιὰν).  Now they knew (καὶ οἴδαμεν) Jesus because of what they themselves have heard for themselves (αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀκηκόαμεν).  This change was from belief based on the word of someone else to a personal faith.  They admitted that Jesus was truly (ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ἀληθῶς) the savior of the world (ὁ Σωτὴρ τοῦ κόσμου).  This is a more cosmic approach, since Jesus was not just the messiah or savior of Israel or the Jews, but the whole world.  The savior was the one who would deliver people from their problems, whatever they might be.  Thus, the Samaritans, not the Jews or gentiles, were the first group to believe in Jesus.  Do you believe that Jesus is the savior of the world?

More Samaritans believed in Jesus (Jn 4:41-4:41)

“Many more


Because of Jesus’ word.”

καὶ πολλῷ πλείους ἐπίστευσαν διὰ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ,

John uniquely indicated that many more Samaritans believed in Jesus (καὶ πολλῷ πλείους ἐπίστευσαν) because of his word (διὰ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ), rather than what the woman had said.  Notice that the word (τὸν λόγον) is what Jesus said and who he is, since it plays a major role in the Gospel of John.  Thus, the Samaritan conversion to Jesus in this one area was almost complete.  Do people believe you because of your word?

The Samaritans want Jesus to stay with them (Jn 4:40-4:40)


When the Samaritans

Came to Jesus,

They asked him

To stay

With them.

He stayed there

Two days.”

ὡς οὖν ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ Σαμαρεῖται, ἠρώτων αὐτὸν μεῖναι παρ’ αὐτοῖς· καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐκεῖ δύο ἡμέρας.

John uniquely indicated that the Samaritans (οἱ Σαμαρεῖται) went to Jesus (ὡς οὖν ἦλθον πρὸς αὐτὸν) to ask him to stay with them (ἠρώτων αὐτὸν μεῖναι παρ’ αὐτοῖς).  Thus, Jesus stayed two days with them (καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐκεῖ δύο ἡμέρας), which did not seem like a long time.  Nevertheless, Jesus did stay a few days in Samaria with these new Samaritan disciples.  Notice it was not the more symbolic three days.  Have you ever stayed a couple of days with people that you did not know?