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John 4:52

ESV 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.”
NIV When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, 'Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.'
NASB So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, 'Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.'
CSB He asked them at what time he got better. "Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him," they answered.
NLT He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, 'Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!'
KJV Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.

What does John 4:52 mean?

Jesus was approached by this man, who wanted Jesus to return to Capernaum to heal his son (John 4:47). Jesus made a point about how often people refuse to exhibit faith; instead, they insist on spectacular and miraculous proof (John 4:48). The man had probably heard about Jesus' recent actions (John 2:23; John 4:41–42), and had hope that Jesus could fix what no one else could. That demonstrates hope and knowledge. However, he also wanted Jesus to come back in person (John 4:49). Jesus' instructions to the man were meant to demonstrate his faith.

That involved trust, which is what Scripture means by "faith." The boy was very close to death, and Capernaum was around 20-25 miles away from Cana, where the man found Jesus. There would be no time for a second trip. If the man walked away from Jesus, he would do so without proof, and without hope of other options.

As it turns out, the man's response to Jesus was to act in faith. He not only believed, but he acted on that belief; he put trust in Jesus, which is what it means to put faith in Jesus. That didn't mean he got the answer he wanted right away. In fact, this verse refers to the moment of healing as "yesterday." This means the man had to wait an excruciatingly long time to find out that God had already granted his request.

This is applicable to believers today. We should realize that simply because we have not seen every detail, it does not mean God has done nothing. He can work to answer our prayers in ways we won't find out about until much later.
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