What does John 4:54 mean?
ESV: This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
NIV: This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
NASB: This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come from Judea into Galilee.
CSB: Now this was also the second sign Jesus performed after he came from Judea to Galilee.
NLT: This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.
KJV: This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
Verse Commentary:
According to John 2:11, the turning of water into wine was Jesus' first-ever miracle. That verse uses the Greek word archēn, meaning "beginning" to refer to that event with respect to Jesus' miraculous signs. In other words, this was the very first miracle that Jesus ever performed. He had done no supernatural acts before this.

The gospel of John records seven "signs," or miracles, intended to prove that Jesus is God. However, John is not claiming that these are the only miracles Jesus ever performed. On the contrary, this book mentions that Jesus did other works which are not specifically recorded (John 20:30–31). It's all but certain that Jesus had performed other miracles while he was in Jerusalem, after the wedding in Cana. Nicodemus referred to His "signs" in John 3:2. People of Jerusalem responded to Jesus's "signs" as well (John 2:23). The fact that the official from Capernaum came seeking healing from Jesus (John 4:46–47) means he had some reason to think that Jesus had miraculous power.

When this verse refers to the healing of the official's son as "the second sign," it's important to understand the context. This is the "second sign" of John's gospel. It is also specifically referred to as the second sign done by Jesus in Galilee. The first was at the wedding in Cana (John 2:6–11), which also happened to be Jesus' first miracle, period. Between the wedding and the healing of the official's son, Jesus had apparently done many other miraculous works.
Verse Context:
John 4:46–54 records the second of Jesus' seven miracles in the gospel of John. The primary point of this miracle is the importance of biblical ''faith,'' which is really ''trust.'' Jesus suggests that some people won’t believe—won’t actually ''trust'' in Christ—without seeing some miraculous event. Jesus then asks a miracle-seeker to act in trusting faith, by leaving without any proof that his request has been granted. As it turns out, the man has actual, trusting belief, and obeys. He finds his faith has already been rewarded on his way home. This also demonstrates the fact that God may sometimes answer our prayers long before we know He's done so.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. Jesus both confronts her about her sin, and comforts her with the truth of the gospel. In particular, He explains that even though He knows her sins, He still seeks after her, and those like her. The woman returns to town, eventually bringing many people to meet Jesus. The disciples, meanwhile, have to be reminded of the purpose of their mission. Jesus also heals the son of a government official in a way that demonstrates the importance of trusting faith, rather than reliance on spectacle.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 4 continues the use of contrast. Jesus goes from conversing with an educated, powerful, prestigious man to talking to an outcast, unlearned, self-conscious woman. The combination of this passage, along with Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, makes an important spiritual point. The gospel is for all people, in all places, and all times. Christ can reach each person exactly where he or she needs to be reached.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/17/2024 9:30:11 PM
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