While Jesus was preaching in Galilee a nobleman (royal official) from the city of Capernaum approached and begged Jesus to come heal his dying son. Instead of going to Capernaum, Jesus told the nobleman to go back home. His son would live. The nobleman “took Jesus at his word” and returned home to find his son well. The fever had gone at the same hour Jesus had said he would live.
Scripture References: John 4:46-54
Suggested Emphasis: Believe the words of Jesus.
Group Share Time
Talk about the places you have traveled to. How far away? How did you get there? How long did the journey take? Talk about the people in these places. Does God know them and care for them? This can lead into today’s story. A man traveled a long way and begged Jesus to travel back with him to heal his son. The man learned that Jesus does not even have to be in someone’s physical presence to heal them. His words have enough power to do that. Jesus’ words can help people no matter how far away they are.
Story from the Bible
An adult or young reader can read the words below as the slides are shown.
1. Cover: Jesus Heals a Nobleman’s Son, John 4:46-54
2. The son of a royal official was sick with a fever. Even though the young man’s father was a very important man there was nothing that could be done to make his son well. The son was so sick he was going to die.
3. The father was worried about his son and he needed to find someone to help him. Maybe the teacher, Jesus, could help. People were saying that Jesus was traveling from city to city teaching people about God and performing miracles. Some said that Jesus could even make sick people well.
4. That is when the royal official heard that Jesus was in the city of Cana. The boy and his father lived in the city of Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee so it would take all day to walk to Cana. But this was so important that the distance did not matter to the father. He set out right away so that he could go and get Jesus. If Jesus came to his house he could make the boy well again.
5.So the father travelled all the way to Cana to find Jesus. The was a royal official so he was used to giving orders and telling other people what to do. But when the royal official came to Jesus he did not give Jesus orders. Instead, he begged Jesus to travel to Capernaum with him to heal his son.
Even though Jesus could make people well he knew the most important thing was that they listen to the words he was saying about God. “Do I have to do miracles for you to believe my words?” he asked.
But all the man could think about was his son..”Please! You must travel with me to Capernaum and come to my house before my son dies!”
But Jesus did not go to the man’s house. He surprised the royal official by telling him to go back home. “Your son will live.” When Jesus said this the man DID believe his words. He immediately set off for Capernaum. It was one o’clock in the afternoon when Jesus said these words.
6.On the way back to his home the man’s servants met him on the road. “Your son is alive,” they exclaimed, “His fever went away!” The father was so happy to hear this good news.
“I have a question for all of you. What time did the fever go away?”
What time do you think the servants said? They said, “The fever went away at one o’clock in the afternoon.”
7. One o’clock in the afternoon was the exact time that Jesus had said the words, “Your son will live.” The royal official and everyone in his house now believed that Jesus’ words were always true.
8. Jesus had said the words when he was in Cana and the son was far away in Capernaum. Jesus made the boy well even though he was far away.
9. Do you know someone who is far away from you? Jesus cares about them too. Jesus’ words are important for people no matter how far away they are.
Verse(s) to Think About
Jesus said, “The things I taught were not from myself. The Father who sent me told me what to say and what to teach. And I know that eternal life comes from what the Father commands. So whatever I say is what the Father told me to say.” John 12:49-50
“Jesus answered, ‘If anyone loves me, then he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not obey my teaching. This teaching that you hear is not really mine. It is from my Father, who sent me.'” John 14:23-24
“You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14
“But Jesus said, ‘Those who hear the teaching of God and obey it—they are the ones who are truly blessed.’” Luke 11:28
Choose Activities and Learn Together
Select activities that suit your family or group. Consider ages and abilities and how to involve everyone present in at least one of the activities.
- AT HOME Count the number of Bibles that you have in your house. Also search for Scripture written on various decorative items.
- EXPLORE: Research various opinions on the location of the ancient city of Cana of Galilee. Some information can be found on Wikipedia. Now use Google maps to find the distance between Capernaum and each of these sites.
- IN THE WORD: Read John 1:1-18 together. How does Jesus embody the Word of God? Discuss whether or not we can accept Jesus without accepting God’s truths.
- GAME/ACTIVITY: If you are able to make the space dark then play a round of “hide and seek”. Play another round but, this time, provide the “searcher” with a torch/flashlight. Gather back together and read Psalm 119:105. Discuss how the light changed the game. How does the light of God’s word change our lives?
- CREATIVE: Write the following verses on seperate index cards or pieces of paper. Individuals or groups are each given a card and provided with paper, crayons, markers etc. The groups or individuals should read the verse and then draw a picture of it. When all are complete share artwork and explainations with the group.
- Psalm 33:6
- Psalm 119:11
- Proverbs 30:5
- Isaiah 40:8
- Matthew 4:4
- Hebrews 4:12
- Acts 12:24
- LIFE APPLICATION: People sometimes think becoming a Christian is about being limited or deprived of our desires by rules and regulations. How does Jesus see the truth of God in John 8:31-32? Brainstorm ways that truth provides freedom in various aspects of your life (in relationships, family, ministry, education, sports, careers, employment, emotional health for example)
- LITTLE ONES: Provide torches/flashlights, tea lights, glow sticks or any glow-in-the-dark clothing or objects so the children can play with the light.
- FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Serve pretzel sticks or vegetables cut into strips and dip. Encourage guest to form Bible words from the sticks before eating.
Singing does not have to be a performance. Don’t take yourself too seriously. In the privacy of your own home or within a small group allow yourself to just be genuine and enjoy the experience together.
Singing songs yourself is more reliable than viewing them online. If you are viewing published videos online on forums such as YouTube be sure and preview them first to make sure there are not unhelpful advertisements. To avoid long pauses due to internet speed issues play the song through once before you begin and then hold it paused and ready to go at the beginning of the song.
- Read Your Bible. Pray Every Day
- Ancient Words (Word and music slides to sing along by A Capella Hymn)
- Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feed (children’s voices, no video but sound only. Acapella Classics)
- More songs to choose from
Additional Mission Bible Class Resources
- Instructions for Family Bible Time and Intergenerational Groups here.
- More teacher information and additional ideas for today’s lesson here.
- How to Plan a Bible Class for Children
- How to Teach Children at Various Ages
- Ideas for Teachers
- Songs for Bible Class
- Praying With Children
- Movement and Dance
Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.