Miracles · Supernatural

Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #2 – Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.

I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at

Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

John 4:43-54

After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

General Observations

I have not included the earlier portion of John 4, since it does not directly relate to this second miracle, but the context of the chapter is relevant in relation the Jesus’ remarks to the official. He had just come out of Samaria, where no miracles were performed. No mighty works. No eye popping actions that would excite the surrounding people. None of that. He had revealed Himself to a poor adulterous Samaritan woman, (A Samaritan woman!) and the town eventually came to trust Him as the Savior of the World. This is truly an amazing story, and I will not spend our time rehashing my thoughts. If interested, please see Simple Thoughts – Savior of the World PLACE LINK HERE

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Jesus spoke to the official in response to his request, but in verse 47, Jesus said to him (and the surrounding crowd – the “you” in verse 47 is plural!) that the only way to get faith out of these people appears to be miracles.

What a contrast with the dirty Samaritans Jesus had just departed from!

Jesus had performed one miracle in Cana, and that was not a highly publicized one, since it was only known to a select few. Yet the requests began. We have a miracle worker in our midst! What do I need? What can I get?

When did the Lord perform this miracle?

See https://www.bibletimelines.net/timelines/jesus-ministry

Where did the Lord perform this miracle?

See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.

Why did the Lord perform this miracle?

This is a hard question for me since the Lord may granted this miracle for the man, but He also understood His audience, that they were looking for eye candy. This, as we shall see throughout the miracles is a recurring theme.

Those who had the greatest revelation of God in the history of mankind, were the ones who needed the signs and miracle to initiate faith. Paul actually summarizes this condition in 1 Corinthians 1:22

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, – 1 Corinthians 1:22

The purpose of signs and miracles were discussed in the introduction to this series, and it may be profitable to review occasionally the reasons the miracles were given.

One of the reasons Jesus performed miracles was to extract faith in His words from those who were present. It seems to me He provided miracles throughout His ministry to either fulfill prophecy, directing attention to the person of prophecy hopefully, or to give supporting authority to His words.

The miracles were not an end to themselves. For this particular miracle, no one in the audience “saw” anything. His words were to be believed (which the official claimed) or they were to be ignored. The servants back home saw the fever break, but had no knowledge of the interaction between the official and the Lord.

This statement from the Lord Go; your son will live was all that Jesus provided the official. What did the man do? Did he demand the Master come down, beg for a visual proof, seek some type of validation? It seems the man accepted the words of Jesus.

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way

The official turned on his heels, and headed home, believing the words of Jesus. He left the crowd, all alone with his faith in the words of Jesus, walking back to his home. The next day, the servants and the official met and the miracle became evident to all. In between his departure from Jesus, and meeting his servants, this official only had the words of Jesus to cling to.

What was the message for the original audience?

The message for the original audience?

Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.

In Texas, where we have lived for the last couple decades, they have a way of defining the size of a group. If I am speaking to one person, I refer to “you”. If I am speaking to more than one person, I would refer to “y’all”. But if I am wanting to include everyone that is listening to my thoughts, I would refer to “all y’all”.

The term “you” in the above passage is the plural, and in the Texas vernacular, would be something like

Unless y’all see signs and wonders y’all will not believe.

Remember that this is spoken amongst the inhabitants of Capernaum, a city that will not fare well in the gospels. Later on in the gospels, Capernaum comes under the Lord’s judgement, even being compared against Sodom and Gomorrah!

And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” – Mat 11:23-24

This is incredible!

The message to the original audience in Capernaum was one of judgement, of warning. The Messiah had been revealed to the Samaritans though a message only, and immediately after, the Master faced a request for a miracle. Did the Capernaum inhabitants know of the harvest in Samaria? Highly unlikely in my thinking, but that is irrelevant to the response of the Capernaumites. (Is that a word?)

Jesus, in His human understanding, was seeing a pattern emerge (I speak as a fool here!) The Samaritans and Capernaum inhabitants were both in the promised land, and had connections with Moses and the covenant. Both referred to at least portions of the Old Testament for their religious foundation. (The Samaritans seemed to depend only on the first five books of the Law.)

The religious leadership of Israel depended on the whole of the Old Testament, and generally looked down on those Samaritans. The general attitude of the religious leadership in Israel was that the Samaritans were an adulterated bunch of impure, mixed race inhabitants, defiling the land. Only the pure Jew was acceptable to the God of Israel. Only the pure Jew!

How upside down is that?

What is the message for us today?

Are you of a pure faith? Are you doctrinally pure, without error, and exercise a ministry of “debate” on all who do not agree with you. Do you demand proofs before you believe? Do you seek to “help” those who cannot see the truth, claiming you understand the revelation of God.

In other words, do you live in pride? Would you identify with the dirty Samaritans or the pure Jew?

Simple faith is dependent on His words. As mentioned above, as this man walked home, he may have experienced doubt and fears, recalled whispers or mockings as he left the crowd. It was surely a long walk home with his thoughts, and the words of Jesus were all he could depend on. Definitely a good place to be!

Only Jesus’ words!


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #187

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #187
Description
A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 11:1
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 3:23-32
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,

the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda,

the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,

the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,

the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,

the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,

the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,

the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Bible · Church · Church Authority · Commandments · Traditions

Traditions – 4

In our last post on Traditions, we suggested that the apostle Paul referred to “traditions” in the beginning of the 11th chapter of 1 Corinthians, and to the

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. – 1 Corinthians 11:2

Fifteen verses later, the apostle writes

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. – 1Co 11:17 ESV

Paul commended the church for “maintaining the traditions”, yet needed to correct the Corinthians in the understanding of the head covering practice (tradition), and with regards to the Lord’s supper, he does not commend them (I do not commend you).

So Paul, when you say the church is maintaining the traditions in verse 2, I am beginning to wonder if you are referring to other traditions beyond the two you speak of in this chapter. Both the head coverings and the Lord Supper is requiring correction.

Is “to maintain” a polite way of saying the Christian church is keeping all the traditions alive with some correction needed in two of them? Is Paul speaking with grace towards this church, seeking to find something good to speak of prior to correcting them?

Nevertheless, we enter into the second tradition that many churches classify as an ordinance. The Lord’s Supper will be the subject of this post.

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not. – 1 Corinthians 11:17-22 ESV

Divisions in the church. Paul’s first concerns in dealing with the Lord’s Supper is unity in the Body. Paul does not address what may be a fevered discussion in you church, whether you have wine of grape juice, leavened or unleavened bread, one cup or many cups, once a week or quarterly, beginning of the service or end of the service. The arguments go on ad nauseum, and prove the very point of the apostle. He called this church immature, and detailed numerous problems throughout this letter, exposing their childishness.

Of course this immaturity is what causes divisions, and Paul understands this better than most, but again, he is looking for something amongst the mess to speak well of. Check out verse 19, where the factions in the church actually expose the mature members, the genuine followers.

there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized

He finds some glimmer of reality in this debauched church, but immediately corrects the body, staing the divisions they live in expose the churches intentions, for in their actions they expose what they want, what they are looking to enjoy during the Lord’s Supper. Satisfying their gluttony. Serving their self. I have wondered in the past that the ones who are genuine, who are recognized, are the same group who Paul later on speaks of going hungry, and are humiliated during the Lord’s supper in having nothing.

Might this teaching of division have more to do with class structure as opposed to a doctrinal difference?

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 ESV

Paul gives a history lesson, providing what the apostles must have supplied him, as the Lord established this tradition amongst His followers. So many things to consider in this passage, but I need to focus on the tradition topic within the church for this blog. Notice this practice/tradition/ordinance is to be practiced until He comes. No mention of scheduled rules or cycles to practice this tradition. This eating and drinking had a purpose, that is to proclaim the Lord’s death. The eating and drinking was not to provide an opportunity to gorge my appetite.

In every church I have ever attended, the opportunity to gorge my appetite has been completely removed. Usually a portion of a cracker and a few drops of grape juice are provided in a structured environment, controlled by sober men with deliberate actions in front of the group. This is not what I seem to read in this passage. It seems the Corinthians, in exercising this tradition, were coming together for what appears to be more like a pot luck with the body, as opposed to a structured ceremony.

Could this tradition be more about sharing of our goods, of providing a meal, of breaking bread with those we have fellowship with and recognizing the Lord’s death as opposed to a ceremony?

But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another– if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home–so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come. – 1 Corinthians 11:27-34

When the Corinthians came together to remember the Lord’s death, was it with an attitude of self serving gluttony, or with a proper reflection of the self giving sacrifice of the Lord in His death?

Jesus gave. We consume.

When Paul speaks verse 29, I am torn as to whether he speaks of the Lord’s body (Jesus physical body in the heavens) or the Lord’s body (Jesus mystical body, the church)

For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.

But Carl – read the passage. Paul speaks of “the body”. Not necessarily the Lord’s body, i.e. as some may have thought of earlier, thinking Paul is speaking of the Lord’s physical body in the heavens, the body that was broken and torn for our salvation.

I sense that Paul’s primary concern in this tradition is the unity of the group, unity of the body of believers. The body he speaks of is the church itself.

Love the body, in practical ways. Be harsh on yourself in your self judgement, and gracious to those who also trust in the living God. Wait for your brother. Satisfy your cravings in private in order to serve your brother in public. Don’t bring judgement to the church.

Give – don’t consume.


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Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 39 – D

Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart. This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 39

12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.
13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!”

In our last post on this psalm, we saw that God had given David a stroke or blow that sent David reeling. He begged for this blow to be removed from his life. The reason for this blow upon his life? It appears to have something to do with his tongue, and had incurred the attention of the Lord.

Our passage today is short, but note how David’s prayers are full of gut wrenching emotion. He is pleading for an audience before the King, and is claiming no rights, as a guest, one who is invited and not necessarily earned his right to an audience.

He has confessed that the Lord has muted him, that he is not opening his mouth. This is necessary for discussion! I know this seems obvious but please let me explain my thinking.

I often spend time on conference calls at work and find that much of my time is spent asking to repeat what someone said. Why you ask? Because someone else (sometimes myself) was speaking over him. When two people speak at the same time, no-one gets a clear message out. Both speakers are showing a level of disrespect to the other, and revealing an attitude of superiority. Granted, time crunches and experience of the topic need to be considered in each conversation, but that doesn’t apply to our passage.

The two people interacting in this passage are the Lord of creation, the true King of Israel and His servant David. David has had his mouth closed by the King, and is currently willing to hear the “other side”. We do not hear of the Lord’s response in this Psalm, for this is not the intent of the Psalm.

David is in His proper place for healing at this time. He requests that the Lord look away from him, that is in relation to the blow that he is experiencing, that he may “smile again”. I love this translation, that he may “smile again”, to be cheerful!

It is good to be a believer, for the regular, common experience of the believer is to be cheerful. A thought that is primarily directed to myself, but as my momma used to say, “If the shoe fits, wear it!”

The Lord is good and His ways are perfect.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #186

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #186
Description
Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 11:1
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 2:23
And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Matthew 24:23-26

Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. – Mathew 24:23-26 ESV

Security

True security depends on truth.  (Duh)

Let me tell you a story of how the great Teacher prophesied of an impossible danger.

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, the great Teacher told His students (disciples) of a danger they were not to worry about.  He only had a few days left with them before departing, so instead of giving the students (disciples) information that would directly impact their lives, He decided to share what some saints consider a hypothetical situation that would be misunderstood by the students (disciples) He was speaking to.

Security is found in the Truth

Lead astray, if possible, even the elect? Deceive many believers?

The Lord seems to be directing this warning to His current followers at least. I realize that the last passage could make this a hypothetical situation, but then why give the warning if it was not possible. Could it be that the possibility of being deceived is dependent on the “elect” and not on the Elector?

In other words, if a saint is following, the deception is not possible.  Security is experienced in the believer through their faith relationship with the Lord, and God will protect.

Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1Pe 1:5 ESV

Otherwise, if a believer tends to wander, (by his own choice), the deception is very possible and the security spoken of may be simply self deception.

This is a difficult, scary situation, but sometimes we have to recognize that the King does not appear to be safe, and that at times a challenge may appear to be beyond our hope.

This concept reminds me of the last lines in the chronicles of Narnia, where Susan and the Beaver are speaking of the Great Lion, Aslan

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

Whether the Master was speaking to His apostles of their possible falling away, or to us, we are all to cling to Him, to see Him as our only hope, our only salvation, the only One who truly is good in His Royal Bearing and Being.

Trust in Him for He is good. Seek Him in your daily walk and do not turn your heart from Him. Ask for His help, His guidance, His wisdom, His boldness, even as disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment crowds your thoughts and heart. That is when trust becomes real, and when the security has an opportunity be realized


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #185

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #185
Description
No end to his Government, Throne, and Peace
Old Testament Prophecy
 Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 1:32-33
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.