John 4:43-54 Second Sign

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honour in his own home town.) 45 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.

46 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. 47 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. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 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.” 53 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. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

Second Sign

This story is the second sign in a series that leads us to understand who Jesus is.  The official who believes at the end of the story models for us the process from unbelief to belief.  The official starts with a desperate situation, his son is ill.  Being a father I know how desperate a father might become because of his son being ill.  Of course my son is as mischievous or disobedient as many other sons, but I love him in a way that I couldn’t have foreseen before he came to be in our house.  The official is driven to consider any options for how his son is to be healed and he comes to Jesus.  Jesus graciously works in the life of the family and his whole household sees the effects.

In our times of desperation we come to Jesus because there is no-one else.  If we are sensitive to his leading, we see that he answers us.  He may say, “No”.  He may say, “Wait.”  He knows what is best.  The fact that he is present with us in our anguish is proof of who he is.  So who would you say acts in a family’s life the way Jesus acted in the life of the local leader?


I wish you would act in my life in ways that would create pure joy and belief without doubt.  I want you to work in my life to show me signs of who you are.  I do accept that you have worked in the life of others, especially in this story, to show a sign of who you are.  I accept you are God and that you are Lord and I follow you.


  1. What problem is presented to Jesus?
  2. How does he react?
  3. What must we believe in response to this story?
  4. How has Jesus acted or seemingly failed to act in your family?
  5. What does Jesus’ action in your family point to?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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21 Responses to John 4:43-54 Second Sign

  1. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) An official from Capernaum approached Jesus asking Him to heal his sick son.
    2) He said that unless the man sees signs and wonders, then he won’t believe. Then he tells the man to go because his son would live.
    3) We need to believe that God is in control and that He will do what is best for every situation.
    4) He has been faithful in my family in directing our paths and providing for us.
    5) His goodness and faithfulness in our family shows that He always directs us and although we might not always get the answer we are hoping for, He is sovereign and does what is best for us.

  2. Jenna says:

    1. A man asks Jesus to heal his son.
    2. Jesus asks why everyone needs a sign to believe.
    3. We must believe that Jesus is able to heal sickness without even being present.
    4. Jesus has been so faithful to my family in how He has provided for our needs.
    5. Jesus’ provision for my family points to His love for us.

  3. Dominic Shortridge says:

    1. The son of the official was sick, and the man pleaded with Jesus to heal him.
    2. Jesus reacts by stating that the man will not believe in Jesus unless he witnesses a miracle.
    3. Knowing the hearts of all, Jesus provides the works and the power to turn the hearts of unbelievers towards him. He does this by all different types of means.
    4. Throughout my whole life I prayed for the opportunity to go to college, and in the first 3 years that I was in community college it did not look as though I was going to get that chance… but I was wrong.
    5. Jesus action in my situation showed me that I was very impatient and also very untrusting. My parents prayed faithfully for me to go to school and God provided a way.

  4. Lacy says:

    1. An official has a son who is very ill.
    2. He begs Jesus to heal his son, and has faith when Jesus says that his son has already been healed with a word.
    3. Jesus has power over illness, even when he is not physically present.
    4. He allowed my family to be part of a church for most of my growing-up that did a lot of damage to us and many other families by wrong teaching.
    5. He used it as an opportunity for growth down the road.

    • Plymothian says:

      I am sorry that the church was a painful experience. I can associate with that and sometimes the pain is still there. I pray that you may continue to grow in peace.

  5. nataliaria says:

    In these verses, Jesus encounters a man whose son is sick. Jesus’ initial reaction seems to be one of skepticism, as He observes to the sick boy’s father that the people will not believe unless they see miracles. However, when pressed once again by the father, Jesus answers the man’s petition, saying that his son will live.

    I believe that this story is intended lead readers to reconsider the ways in which we view Jesus’ response to and involvement in our lives; just because He appears to be ignoring our needs, or denying us the request of our heart does not mean that He is truly doing either.

    As in much of life, Jesus’ work in my family has progressed in ways that are often unseen (or unappreciated) until much later. I believe that this incites us to trust Him more, in situations when we can see Him, and those when we cannot, as well as encourages me to live with my eyes and heart more open to His work, that I might not miss it when He does move and speak.

  6. Karas says:

    A father’s son is ill. Jesus first speaks on faith, and then tells the man his son will be healed. In response to this story, we must believe that God’s word is absolutely true and powerful, and that He knows what He is doing. God has acted in my family to provide for us for all these years. He has not yet brought peace in a certain area, but I trust He will. His actions to provide point to His faithfulness and trustworthiness, as well as His absolute worthiness of glory.

  7. Kathleen says:

    1. An official is asking Jesus to heal his sick son.
    2. Jesus asks why the people must see signs in order for them to believe.
    3. That we can have faith without seeing Jesus in person. We can believe by looking at how he is working in the world and our lives.
    4. Jesus is faithful to provide for my family. This summer we had twelve people living at my house at one point. Financially the Lord provided food on the table every day. When we needed another refrigerator, one showed up on our door step the next day. I witnessed the church being the body of Christ this summer.
    5. It points to Christ and His body, the church. It is not always easy to see how the Lord is going to provide but He is faithful.

  8. What problem is presented to Jesus?
    “Jesus was faced with two cases: a physically dying son and a spiritually dead father. Both were healed and faith was restored. For the father ‘took Jesus at his word’ and along with him ‘all his household believed.’ So Jesus turned this interaction into redeeming interaction.”

  9. Beth Coale says:

    1. There is a need to be meet and He wants to meet that need, but Jesus doesn’t want people to believe in Him only because of signs and wonders.
    2. He heals the son in a way that still required the father to believe before witnessing a miracle.
    3. Jesus meets needs and He does it in the way He sees fit.
    4. By not responding to our prayers in the way we wanted He to
    5. He wants us to trust and obey Him even when we aren’t given “signs and wonders”

  10. Mary says:

    1. The official’s son is sick/dying
    2. He heals the son but scolds the crowd for not believing unless they see signs.
    3. Jesus keeps his word, he has power over illnesses/diseases, he can heal if he so choses to do so.
    4. While I have not yet witnessed any miraculous healings I do believe God can still work in that way today if he desires to do so. I have, however, seen plenty of answered prayers. What I find interesting about this passage is that Jesus didn’t use another person to do it…Only the intercession of the boy’s father.
    5. Both his action and inaction prompts me to continue trusting and depending solely on Him.

  11. Amy McCashen says:

    1. The man’s son was ill and the man was asking for healing.
    2. He tells the man that he would not believe unless he saw miraculous signs. But then he sees the faith of the man and heals his son.
    3. Jesus is all-powerful AND omnipresent. He can heal someone when his physical body is somewhere else. And He is compassionate to heal the boy.
    4. Jesus has acted in our family by my aunt and uncle’s decision to adopt… followed shortly by their death. As awful as it may seem, I gained a brother through this whole tragedy. Justin has been apart of our family for 12 years now. I love him to death.
    5. Jesus’ action in my family points to his love an care for the orphans of this world. It points to Jesus being able to make good out of what feels like a dreadfully awful situation. God always works things together for good for those who trust in him.

  12. Dylan says:

    In John 4, a city official in Galilee begs Jesus to heal is son who is very ill. It’s fascinating to me that Jesus shifts the focus back to the father by saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” Not only does Jesus save the official’s son from a young death but he also saves the father and the whole household’s souls.
    In response to this story, I am compelled to believe that Jesus will make himself undeniable to us if, upon being saved we take steps of faith and ask for his help always. In my own life, when beginning to feel alone and shut off from the world about a month ago, Jesus surrounded me with Godly people to show me his love and build up friendships.

  13. Ashley says:

    1. The problem is that Jesus says, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
    2. He gives them signs anyway.
    3. We must believe that Jesus is gracious with us of little faith.
    4. Right now, my family is praying for direction from him. The Lord seems to be silent and doesn’t seem to be leading us as strongly or as clearly as he was before…
    5. Jesus action in seemingly being silent is meant to grow our faith, I suppose. He wants us to trust him in unknown and murky waters.

  14. Bethany says:

    1. The man asks Jesus to heal his sick son
    2. Jesus wonders why everyone needs a miracle in order to believe.
    3. That Jesus is always present and uses so many different people and things to show others that presence.
    4. Jesus has shown how important it is to be faithful to my family and to care heavily for their needs even if I am far away.
    5. Jesus has showed me how deeply he loves us and can show that love though he is not with us physically.

  15. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. What problem is presented to Jesus?
    The official’s son is dying and so the father comes to Jesus searching for healing.
    2. How does he react?
    Jesus gives an interesting response. It seems to be a rebuke of sorts, testing the man’s faith, but still Jesus tells the man to go (though the man asked Jesus to come) and does heal his son.
    3. What must we believe in response to this story?
    We must believe that Jesus is true to his word. And therefore, as he proclaims to be the Messiah, we must believe that he is.
    4. How has Jesus acted or seemingly failed to act in your family?
    Jesus has always, always provided for my mother-in-law. Though she has had a rough life in many ways, the Lord has never ceased to provide for her.
    5. What does Jesus’ action in your family point to?
    His constant, unfailing provision ultimately points to his provision of life on the cross.

  16. Rachel says:

    An official’s son is dying, he comes to Jesus desperate for help. Instead of running to the rescue, Jesus tests the man’s faith. The man’s faith is strong and Jesus is amazed. He heals the son that very hour. This story leads me to believe that Jesus responds to true faith; he is the healer, the rescuer.
    Jesus has seemingly failed to act in the healing of my father’s depression. He also failed to rescue my younger brother from drowning and my older siblings from choosing poor spouses. I feel as though the Lord has not kept the promises he made to my family, even though we served him faithfully through the years. I suppose this points to a lack of faith on our parts. Maybe we could have prayed harder or confessed a disobedience. Maybe this was all somehow for the greater good. I struggle to believe this.

  17. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1) and officials son was dying and needed to be healed
    2) Jesus knows that this man needs a miracle to believe…and does not like that, yet gives him one regardless and heals his son.
    3) We must believe and have trust and faith in God’s plan and purpose for our lives, we do not need to see signs and miracles, we need to have faith in the Lord.
    4) My sister is sick, but she is doing very well right now and God is watching over her and keeping her safe. My dad is not doing very well, his ability to walk has been taken away right now, he can’t really sit either…so he just lays. He lays, and we watch praying that God heals him and that we can get enough money and support and prayers for surgery and rely on God’s healing.
    5) It points to himself having absolute control and power, it is scary, he can do whatever he wants, whatever he thinks is best….regardless of what I may want.

  18. Nick says:

    An official comes to Jesus and says that his son is ill. Jesus was frustrated because everyone was coming to Jesus needing a sign or miracle to believe, however he heals the official’s son anyways, and what a sign that was! He healed the son from a distance. It shows that Jesus is in control and is so powerful that he can even heal illness when not even being present.

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