Go, Your Son Will Live: Honoring Jesus by Elevating and Believing His Word

Brian Mahon - 2/20/2022


Call to worship: Psalm 121

Text: John 4:43-54


Jesus takes leave of Sychar for his homeland of Galilee. In contrast to His reception in Jerusalem, the Samaritans believed His Word. Will the people of Galilee? They too have seen His signs, but will there faith be only sign-deep, or sin and Savior-deep? It is an apparent irony in that they 'welcome' Jesus. John preempts this welcome with a note, how Jesus had taught that a prophet has no honor in his hometown. The welcome is rooted in His wonders, not (as it must be) in His Word. As a test case, an official has a son on the brink of death. In desperation, hearing Jesus was nearby, he asks Him to heal the child. Jesus calls out the spiritual issue afoot in Galilee, as elsewhere. Is this man any different? Well, he asks Jesus to come and help. Extraordinarily, Jesus needn't be near to accomplish the task. Underscoring His grace and power, He but wills and speaks it from where He stands, and the child is healed. Death is turned back! Importantly, before the father knows this, he's content to take Jesus at His Word, and the healing then only strengthens the faith he'd expressed. His whole household also believes in Jesus as Christ. Let us learn from it to put off the hardening effects of Christian familiarity and flash, and settle it in our hearts to honor Jesus by elevating and believing His Word.

Sermon Outline

  1. Consider Jesus in His prophetic office. (4:44)
  2. Consider two ways to dishonor Him. (4:44-45)
    • Rejecting His Word on account of familiarity. (4:44)
    • Rejecting His Word in favor of flash. (4:45)
  3. Consider a test case on true faith. (4:46-54)
    • The circumstances. (4:46-47)
    • The test. (4:48-50)
    • The result. (4:51-54)
    • The message: true faith ventures all on the Word of Christ.


Discussion Questions:

  1. Read John 4:43-54. Have a gander also back at John 2:23 and following, along with 4:41.
  2. Having read those verses, what do you make of the 'welcome' the Galileans give to Jesus (4:43-45)? Being from Nazareth in Galilee, how is it that they gave Him no honor and, yet, welcomed Him? Is there a way to superficially welcome Jesus? His home is to be with us, but are we a home to Him? How do we know? What will be elevated in the place He truly calls home?
  3. How has John filled out for us what it means for Jesus to be 'a prophet'? How is it that we honor Jesus as such? How is it that we may dishonor Him as such? How might familiarity contribute to a rejection of Christ's Word and, thus, Christ Himself (He is the Word)? How might a penchant for flash (or the spectacular) contribute to a rejection of Christ's Word?
  4. In 4:48, why do you think Jesus responds to the official's overture the way He does? How does the official respond? How does Jesus do more than what the official asked or imagined? What does it imply about the Word and Person of Christ? It says the official 'believed the word that Jesus spoke to him.' Was that before or after he knew the result, and why is that important in determining what sort of faith he exercised?
  5. What is the end result of this sign (4:53)? What can we say to the honor of Christ? Do we find His Word to be enough for us? Is it all-sufficient? What will mark Christ-honoring faith in a person and in a people? How might that affect how we do ministry? How we disciple? How we live from day to day? What should be elevated above all else?
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