John 4:53 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 4:53, NIV: "Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, 'Your son will live.' So he and his whole household believed."

John 4:53, ESV: "The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household."

John 4:53, KJV: "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."

John 4:53, NASB: "So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, 'Your son is alive'; and he himself believed, and his entire household."

John 4:53, NLT: "Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, 'Your son will live.' And he and his entire household believed in Jesus."

John 4:53, CSB: "The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, "Your son will live." So he himself believed, along with his whole household."

What does John 4:53 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The father mentioned here is some kind of nobleman or court official. He had traveled from Capernaum to Cana, in order to ask Jesus for healing on behalf of his son (John 4:46–47). In his grief, the man insisted that Jesus come back in order to make his son well. Jesus, on the other hand, made a point about the difference between knowing something, and trusting something. By telling the man to go back home, Jesus was testing his faith—trust—in what he was being told.

The man had to wait quite some time. Cana and Capernaum are nearly 25 miles apart, and the prior verse refers to the moment of healing as "yesterday." This means several things. First, the boy was healed exactly when Jesus spoke the words. Second, this was done at a distance, meaning Jesus' powers were not limited by space or distance. Third, the man's prayer had been answered long before he knew about the answer.

There are two critically important applications of the healing of the official's son. First, real biblical faith requires "trust," not simply knowledge or hope. Christian faith is not blind faith, nor is it based on absolute proof. Rather, it's the choice to rely on what we do know, in spite of what we don't know.

Second, this event proves that God may answer our prayers without making us aware. The man's son was healed at the very moment Jesus spoke, but he didn't find out until the next day (John 5:52). Simply because we haven't seen proof of God's work does not mean He's done nothing.