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THE HEALING OF THE NOBLEMAN'S SON AT
JOHN IV. 53.
So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the
which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
IN entering upon our proposed examination of the principal miracles of our Lord as recorded by the Evangelists, we commence, according to the plan laid down in the Introductory Discourse, with those which he performed in the HEALING OF The sick, AND THE REMOVAL OF INFIRMITIES. These indeed were so numerous, so varied, and so constantly occurring, that it might have been said by the Jews in the days of his ministry, with a peculiar emphasis, and in somewhat of a literal sense, " Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” In such a sense these words are applied by St. Matthew, who quotes them from the prophet Isaiah ; intimating that they received an accomplishment in the merciful cures which our Saviour wrought on the bodies of men.
Among the earliest in that class of miracles which we now proceed to consider—perhaps the very earliest that is recorded -- was the healing of the nobleman's son who was sick at Capernaum. Our Saviour had recently been at Jerusalem at the Passover, where he had signally manifested his Divine power, and exercised his compassion in relieving the distressed. After his departure from Jerusalem he still remained for a while in the land of Judea ; and in proceeding thence into Galilee he tarried in Sychar a city of Samaria, where he again afforded strong proofs of his Divine character and mission. We are informed, however, that he shortly pursued his intended course. “ Now after two days,” says the Evangelist, “he departed thence and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast : for they also went unto the feast. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine.” Here follows the narrative the particulars of which we are now to consider. Let us then, in dependence upon the Divine blessing, direct our attention
I. TO THE GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE CASE :
FROM THE WHOLE.
I. In the first place we are to advert TO THE GENERAL STATEMENT OF THE CASE.
“There was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son : for he was at the point of death.”
It is particularly worthy of our remark that the petitioner on this occasion was a person of considerable distinction. The word by which he is designated in the original, and which is here rendered nobleman,-indicates that he was in some respect or other closely connected with royalty. It is probable that he belonged to the court of Herod the tetrarch of Galilee, who is repeatedly mentioned in the Evangelists under the title of king. “Many,' observes Dr. Doddridge, have conjectured, that the person who is here spoken of, was Chuza, Herod's steward, whose wife is thought to have been converted on this occasion, and became afterwards an attendant on Christ.'
The elevated rank of this individual, however, did not secure him from affliction. His son had been visited with sickness, by which he had been reduced to a state of extreme debility. If he were an only son-but whether this was the case we are not informed--the father's distress would doubtless be aggravated. That he was greatly beloved is sufficiently evident from the peculiar urgency of the suffering parent on this occasion. It is highly probable that the skill of physicians had been employed in vain ; and that the case was regarded as a hopeless one,
? See Luke vii, 3.