The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. (John 4:49-53)
The Saving Of The Household
Jesus performed many miracles and, in some cases, was not present when the miracle happened. A royal official approached Jesus begging Him to heal his child who lay dying. The nobleman’s son was sick unto death, and the father had traveled some distance to find Jesus. When Jesus told him to return home, and his son would live, the man immediately began his journey home. He was met by a servant who told him the good news of the boys healing the previous day. When the man asked what time of day his son was healed, he learned it was the same hour Jesus had proclaimed him healed. The man believed in the power of Jesus to heal his son, but when the miracle took place, he and his whole household believed.
The impact of raising a child from a deadly disease had its impact not just on the father but on the man’s family. Jesus was not present when the healing took place. As the family worried over their son, around one-o-clock in the afternoon, he was immediately healed. It is unlikely they would have understood it was the moment the father had pleaded with Jesus. When they learned of the timing of the miracle and the power of someone to heal from a great distance, the family believed. Not only did the nobleman believe in the Son of God but his whole family. The scriptures do not give any details about the family, but whoever was part of this man’s family was now a believer in Christ.
There is nothing more powerful than considering the conversion of a family. Seeing one man believe and respond to the gospel of Christ is a wonderful story. Witnessing a man and his whole family responding is an incredible story. This man’s story does not stand alone. Numerous families became believers in the Christ. Luke tells the story of a Gentile named Cornelius, a devout man who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. After an angel of the Lord told him to send for Peter and he sent his servants to bring Peter, Cornelius made some preparations for the arrival of the preacher. He called together his relatives and close friends to hear the word of the gospel. After Peter arrived and the Holy Spirit fell on those who heard the word, the household was baptized into Christ. Cornelius brought his family to the grace of God.
Paul and Silas were in prison in Philippi. At midnight, an earthquake shook the prison doors and loosed the doors and chains. Fearful the prisoners had escaped, the jailer prepared to take his life. Paul called out to the man and told him everyone was secure. When Peter spoke the word of the gospel to the jailer, he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. The household of the jailer obeyed the gospel. In the city of Corinth, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household. Paul commended various families in his letters. In the Roman letter, he commended the household of Aristobulus and Narcissus, who are in the Lord. When he wrote to Corinth, Paul said he remembered baptizing the household of Stephanas. The household of Onesiphorus often refreshed the apostle Paul in his journeys.
The early church made the family an important part of the work of the kingdom. It does not matter how busy the world can be; the family remains the throbbing heart of the church, the community, and the nation. The church is in dire need of families who are faithful. Generational faith is handed down from one generation to another. What an amazing story to tell of baptizing a family, knowing this family will be an active part of the church. The nobleman who came to Jesus brought his single plea to heal his son and received a greater blessing than he could have imagined. His son was healed, and he praised God for that. Seeing his family believe that Jesus was the Son of God gave him great joy. Nothing in the world matters to a Christian father more than to lead his family to the throne of God in obedience. Families united under God’s saving grace are families devoted to the Lord.