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4. A SICK BOY John 4:46-54

Background: The official in this text was working for Herod Antipas. He was the man who had arrested and killed John the Baptist. (The Herod who had killed the babies in Bethlehem was his grandfather.) The Herods were only half Jewish and extremely unpopular with the Jews. The distance between Capernaum and Cana is 38 kilometers.

  • What do you think might have been the good and bad points in the life of this royal official before his son became ill?
  • What was hardest to this father when his son became ill?
  • What is hardest for parents if their child is sick with HIV/AIDS?

  • Why do you think the father decided not to send one of his servants to Jesus, but to go himself?
  • What was this father perhaps thinking while walking 40 kilometersí (25 miles) distance to Cana?

  • What made it difficult for this father to ask a favor of Jesus?
  • Recall an occasion when it was very difficult for you to ask help from Jesus. Why was this?

  • What do the words of Jesus in verse 48 have to do with the rest of the story?
  • What is wrong with seeking after signs and wonders in order to believe?
  • In your opinion, is it possible to apply the words of Jesus in verse 48 to this man? Give your reasons.

  • Why didnít Jesus go with this man to Capernaum, as he had asked him to do (47,50)?
  • How was the faith of this father changed when he met Jesus (50b)?

  • Why is it so difficult to simply believe in the word of God even before experiencing his help?
  • In your opinion, is it too late to experience Godís help in heaven?

  • Why is the moment, when the boy was healed, recorded in the Bible (52)?
  • What difference would it have made to the father if the boy had become well at some other time and not exactly when Jesus gave his promise?

  • What does this incident teach us about the word of Jesus?
  • What difference is there between suffering without the word of God and clinging to his promises while suffering?

  • Why didnít Jesus use his powerful word when he himself was close to death?

    GLAD TIDINGS: The word of Jesus is so powerful because he has paid a great price for it: the son of the royal official could live, but the Son of God had to die instead.

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