John 4:48 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:48, NIV: "Unless you people see signs and wonders,' Jesus told him, 'you will never believe.'"

John 4:48, ESV: "So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”"

John 4:48, KJV: "Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."

John 4:48, NASB: "Then Jesus said to him, 'Unless you people seesigns and wonders, you simply will not believe.'"

John 4:48, NLT: "Jesus asked, 'Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?'"

John 4:48, CSB: "Jesus told him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.""

What does John 4:48 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the original Greek, Jesus' meaning in this verse is easier to see. The word "you" in English can refer to a single person or a group of people. The Greek terms used in this verse are plural: Jesus is saying, "you people" want signs and miracles. His criticism is not of this man alone, but of the general attitude people have toward faith. This was a common problem in Jesus day (Matthew 16:1–4), and is common in ours as well.

Jesus' approach here is meant to show the difference between "knowledge" and "faith." Biblical faith is really trust—it is not enough to know something, one has to rely on it, and act in accordance with it. Christ often made comments that seem blunt, dismissive, or even bizarre at first (Matthew 15:26; John 4:17–18; John 6:51). His remarks always had a purpose, however. Mostly, this was meant to cause the other person to reveal their true intentions. Jesus is setting up a spiritual challenge for this man: are you willing to really trust me, without seeing proof, or not (John 4:49–50)?