June 4, 2017 – June 10, 2017
“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, 21).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 196–200.
“When we come to Him in faith, every petition enters the heart of God. When we have asked for His blessing, we should believe that we receive it, and thank Him that we have received it.” The Desire of Ages, 200. [Emphasis author’s.]
1 JESUS IN GALILEE
- After spending two days with the Samaritans, to what city of Galilee did Jesus journey? John 4:43–46, first part.
Note: “The news of Christ’s return to Cana soon spread throughout Galilee, bringing hope to the suffering and distressed.” The Desire of Ages, 196.
- Who came to meet Jesus in Galilee? John 4:46, last part, 47, first part.
Note: “In Capernaum the tidings attracted the attention of a Jewish nobleman who was an officer in the king’s service. A son of the officer was suffering from what seemed to be an incurable disease. Physicians had given him up to die; but when the father heard of Jesus, he determined to seek help from Him. The child was very low, and, it was feared, might not live till his return; yet the nobleman felt that he must present the case in person. He hoped that a father’s prayers might awaken the sympathy of the Great Physician.” The Desire of Ages, 196, 197.
2 THE NOBLEMAN’S UNBELIEF
- What was the nobleman’s request? John 4:47, last part.
Note: “On reaching Cana he found a throng surrounding Jesus. With an anxious heart he pressed through to the Saviour’s presence. His faith faltered when he saw only a plainly dressed man, dusty and worn with travel. He doubted that this Person could do what he had come to ask of Him; yet he secured an interview with Jesus, told his errand, and besought the Saviour to accompany him to his home. But already his sorrow was known to Jesus. Before the officer had left his home, the Saviour had beheld his affliction.” The Desire of Ages, 197, 198.
- In what words did Jesus reveal His knowledge of the nobleman’s unbelief? John 4:48.
Note: “But He knew also that the father had, in his own mind, made conditions concerning his belief in Jesus. Unless his petition should be granted, he would not receive Him as the Messiah. While the officer waited in an agony of suspense, Jesus said, ‘Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe’ (John 4:48).
“Notwithstanding all the evidence that Jesus was the Christ, the petitioner had determined to make his belief in Him conditional on the granting of his own request.” The Desire of Ages, 198.
“Christ had said to the nobleman whose son He healed, ‘Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe’ (John 4:48). He was grieved that His own nation should require these outward signs of His Messiahship. Again and again He had marveled at their unbelief.” Ibid., 315.
“Many who refuse the message which the Lord sends them are seeking to find pegs on which to hang doubts, to find some excuse for rejecting the light of heaven. In the face of clear evidence they say, as did the Jews, ‘Show us a miracle, and we will believe. If these messengers have the truth, why do they not heal the sick?’ …
“Could their eyes be opened, they would see evil angels exulting around them and triumphing in their power to deceive them. The day is just before us when Satan will answer the demand of these doubters and present numerous miracles to confirm the faith of all those who are seeking this kind of evidence. How terrible will be the situation of those who close their eyes to the light of truth and ask for miracles to establish them in deception!” Evangelism, 594.
3 SEEING AND BELIEVING
- How did Christ reveal sadness at the unbelief of His own people? Matthew 12:38, 39.
Note: “Christ was pained that His own people, to whom the Sacred Oracles had been committed, should fail to hear the voice of God speaking to them in His Son.” The Desire of Ages, 198.
- What difference existed between Jews and Samaritans in regard to their belief in Jesus? Mark 6:2–6; John 4:40–42.
Note: “The Saviour contrasted this questioning unbelief with the simple faith of the Samaritans, who asked for no miracle or sign. His word, the ever-present evidence of His divinity, had a convincing power that reached their hearts.” The Desire of Ages, 198.
- To whom should our own faith be revealed today? Romans 16:26.
Note: “However short our service or humble our work, if in simple faith we follow Christ, we shall not be disappointed of the reward. That which even the greatest and wisest cannot earn, the weakest and most humble may receive. Heaven’s golden gate opens not to the selfexalted. It is not lifted up to the proud in spirit. But the everlasting portals will open wide to the trembling touch of a little child. Blessed will be the recompense of grace to those who have wrought for God in the simplicity of faith and love.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 404.
“Of all professing Christians, Seventh-day Adventists should be foremost in uplifting Christ before the world. The proclamation of the third angel’s message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath truth. This truth, with others included in the message, is to be proclaimed; but the great center of attraction, Christ Jesus, must not be left out. It is at the cross of Christ that mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other. The sinner must be led to look to Calvary; with the simple faith of a little child he must trust in the merits of the Saviour, accepting His righteousness, believing in His mercy.” Gospel Workers, 156, 157.
4 FAITH REWARDED
- When the nobleman’s faith took hold of Christ, how did he reiterate his plea? John 4:49.
Note: “Yet the nobleman had a degree of faith; for he had come to ask what seemed to him the most precious of all blessings. …
“Like a flash of light, the Saviour’s words to the nobleman laid bare his heart. He saw that his motives in seeking Jesus were selfish. His vacillating faith appeared to him in its true character. In deep distress he realized that his doubt might cost the life of his son. He knew that he was in the presence of One who could read the thoughts, and to whom all things were possible. In an agony of supplication he cried, ‘Sir, come down ere my child die’ (John 4:49). His faith took hold upon Christ as did Jacob, when, wrestling with the Angel, he cried, ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me’ (Genesis 32:26).” The Desire of Ages, 198.
- What did Jesus do instead of going to the nobleman’s home? John 4:50.
Note: “Jesus had a greater gift to bestow. He desired, not only to heal the child, but to make the officer and his household sharers in the blessings of salvation, and to kindle a light in Capernaum, which was so soon to be the field of His own labors. But the nobleman must realize his need before he would desire the grace of Christ. This courtier represented many of his nation. They were interested in Jesus from selfish motives. They hoped to receive some special benefit through His power, and they staked their faith on the granting of this temporal favor; but they were ignorant as to their spiritual disease, and saw not their need of divine grace. …
“Like Jacob he prevailed. The Saviour cannot withdraw from the soul that clings to Him, pleading its great need. ‘Go thy way,’ He said; ‘thy son liveth’ (John 4:50). The nobleman left the Saviour’s presence with a peace and joy he had never known before. Not only did he believe that his son would be restored, but with strong confidence he trusted in Christ as the Redeemer.” The Desire of Ages, 198, 199.
“If we make an entire surrender to Him, leave our life of sin and passion and pride, and cling to Christ and His merits, He will fulfill to us that He has promised. He says that He will give liberally to all who ask Him. Cannot we believe it? I have tested Him on this point, and know that He is faithful to fulfill all His promises.” The Signs of the Times, September 29, 1887.
5 CURE AND SALVATION
- In what manner did Jesus heal the nobleman’s son? John 4:51–53.
Note: “At the same hour the watchers beside the dying child in the home at Capernaum beheld a sudden and mysterious change. The shadow of death was lifted from the sufferer’s face. The flush of fever gave place to the soft glow of returning health. The dim eyes brightened with intelligence, and strength returned to the feeble, emaciated frame. No signs of his malady lingered about the child. His burning flesh had become soft and moist, and he sank into a quiet sleep. The fever had left him in the very heat of the day. The family were amazed, and great was the rejoicing.
“Cana was not so far from Capernaum but that the officer might have reached his home on the evening after his interview with Jesus; but he did not hasten on the homeward journey. It was not until the next morning that he reached Capernaum. What a homecoming was that! When he went to find Jesus, his heart was heavy with sorrow. The sunshine seemed cruel to him, the songs of the birds a mockery. How different his feelings now! All nature wears a new aspect. He sees with new eyes. As he journeys in the quiet of the early morning, all nature seems to be praising God with him. While he is still some distance from his own dwelling, servants come out to meet him, anxious to relieve the suspense they are sure he must feel. He shows no surprise at the news they bring, but with a depth of interest they cannot know he asks at what hour the child began to mend. They answer, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him’ (John 4:52). At the very moment when the father’s faith grasped the assurance, ‘Thy son liveth’ (verse 51), divine love touched the dying child.” The Desire of Ages, 199.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Why are prophets generally not well received in their own lands?
2 What words of the nobleman revealed his unbelief?
3 How did Christ react to the unbelief of His people?
4 What does Jesus promise to all who accept His invitation?
5 How does Jesus act towards any person who pleads for help?
Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.