October 7, 2018 – John 4:43 – 5:14

Lesson Date: October 7, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: John 4:43 – 5:14

AIM: To lead students to describe two miracles Jesus performed and the effect those miracles had on the people involved, and to demonstrate their trust in God’s miracle-working power by asking for God’s miraculous intervention in their lives.


Before class: Read the notes on John 4:43 – 5:14 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. If you or someone in your class knows how to pull a quarter from behind someone’s ear or some other very simple illusion, ask them to be prepared to do it for the class. Get some half sheets of paper for the activity described at the end of the “Personal Application” step.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): If you or someone in the class knows how to perform a simple illusion, do it for the class. Ask the students if they have ever seen a “magician” perform “magic” tricks. Ask: “What kinds of tricks did he do?” After the class names some tricks they have seen, ask if the so-called “magician” really had the power to do those things of if those tricks were merely illusions (they were illusions). Tell the students such illusions fool our eyes to make us think we saw something that is physically impossible. If you or someone in the class did a simple trick, tell them how it is done.

Ask: “Does anyone other than a small child really believe the “magician” has magical powers?” (no). So-called “magicians” do tricks for entertainment, but we understand they are just fun illusions.

Write the word Miracle on the marker board or chalkboard. Ask the class to define the word. After they suggest several definitions, read the following dictionary definition of the word “miracle” to the class:

An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.”[1]

Tell the class in today’s lesson they will learn about two miracles Jesus performed. They will also see the effects those miracles had on the people involved.



  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the Gospel of John.
    • Read John 20:31.
    • Ask: “Why did John write this account of Jesus’ life?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (the woman at the well; Jesus went out of His way to reach people with the saving Gospel).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (John 4:24).
  2. Jesus Healed a Nobleman’s Son.
    • Read John 4:43-46a.
    • Explain to the class that Jesus left Sychar in Samaria (where he had met the woman at the well) and traveled to Cana (locate both cities on the map).
    • Tell them Jesus did not go to Nazareth, His hometown, because He knew that “a prophet hath no honor in his own country” (v. 44).
    • Many other people of Galilee, however, received Him well.
    • Ask: “Why did the people of Galilee receive Him so well?” (they had seen the many signs and miracles He had done in Jerusalem during the pilgrim feast of the Passover – see John 2:23).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 4:46-49.
    • Tell the class the Bible introduces us to a certain unnamed nobleman from the town of Capernaum (locate on the map).
    • Explain that Capernaum was almost 20 miles (about a day’s journey) from Cana.
    • Ask: “Why did the man travel all that distance to see Jesus?” (he wanted Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his dying son).
    • Explain that the word besought (v. 47) means that the man literally begged Jesus to come.
    • Ask: “Why do you think Jesus said what He did in verse 48?” (to see if the man was more interested in his son’s healing or in seeing a miraculous event).
    • Tell the class many people followed Jesus only to see the miracles He performed, so Jesus tested the nobleman through this rebuke.
    • Ask: “What was the man’s response?” (he begged Jesus to come quickly before his son died). There was urgency in his request.
    • Read John 4:50-54.
    • Tell the students Jesus spoke only six words to the nobleman.
    • Ask: “How does the Bible say the nobleman responded?” (he believed Jesus and he acted on his belief).
    • Briefly lecture on the remaining verses, using the following outline:
      • The nobleman immediately began his trip home to Capernaum, but since it was so late he had to stop for the night somewhere along the road.
      • The next day he met his servants coming to give him the good news that his son was well.
      • The nobleman discovered that his son was healed at the very moment Jesus spoke those six words.
      • Because of this, the man and his entire household believed in Jesus.
      • This was the second of Jesus’ seven sign miracles recorded in the first half of John’s Gospel.
    • Summarize: In spite of being 20 miles away, Jesus miraculously healed a nobleman’s dying son. The result was that the man and his entire family believed in Jesus.
  3. Jesus Healed a Paralyzed Man.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 5:1-4.
    • Locate the Pool of Bethesda on the map of Jerusalem.
    • Ask: “Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem?” (to worship at another Jewish religious feast).
    • Ask: “What did He see at the pool?” (many paralyzed, blind, crippled, and sick people).
    • Tell the class we don’t know anything about the healing powers of this pool other than what is recorded here. Many commentators dismiss it as myth; but we know one thing for certain – the sick people believed they could be healed.
    • Read John 5:5-7.
    • Tell the students Jesus saw a certain man there.
    • Ask: “How long had the man been paralyzed?” (38 years).
    • Ask: “What strange question did Jesus ask the man?” (“Do you want to be healed?”)
    • Ask: “Many sick people were there; why do you think Jesus choose this particular man?” (that is a mystery of sovereign grace).
    • Ask: “How did the man answer Jesus’ question?” (he couldn’t get into the water quickly enough to be healed).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 5:8-9.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus tell the man to do?” (get up, pick up his bed, and walk).
    • Ask: “What happened to the man?” (he was miraculously healed; he picked up his bed and walked away).
    • Ask: “What day was it?” (the Sabbath).
    • Read John 5:10-14.
    • Remind the students that Jews were not supposed to work on the Sabbath day (Saturday).
    • Ask: “Were the Jews excited about the man’s healing?” (no, they were upset because he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath).
    • They wanted to locate Jesus, but the man didn’t know who had healed him.
    • The man went to the Temple to worship, where Jesus found him and spoke to him.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus tell the man in verse 14?” (do not continue in sin, lest something far worse happen to him.
    • Ask: “What is worse than 38 years of being paralyzed?” (spending eternity in hell).
    • Summarize: In spite of the fact the man by the pool had been paralyzed for 38 years, Jesus miraculously healed him. As wonderful as physical healing is, Jesus told the man his most important problem was spiritual – he needed cleansing from the sin in his life.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students of the so-called “magic” tricks they discussed at the beginning of the lesson. Tell them Jesus wasn’t a “magician” who did illusions or tricks – He performed genuine supernatural miracles. For example, He spoke a word and healed a sick boy who was nearly 20 miles away. He spoke again and healed a man who had been lame or paralyzed for 38 years.

Ask: “What would have happened to the nobleman’s son if his father hadn’t believed in Jesus’ power to heal and hadn’t asked Jesus to heal his son?” (the boy would have died). Ask: “What would have happened to the lame man if he hadn’t believed Jesus had power to heal and hadn’t obeyed Jesus’ command?” (he would have remained paralyzed for life).

Tell the students since Jesus is God and can do anything, we ought to ask Him to answer our prayers. Ask the class to name miracles (answers to prayer) they need in their lives. Tell them we don’t know how God will answer our prayers, but we know for certain that He has the power to do anything. Ask the class to name some things that seem impossible without God’s miraculous intervention (bringing back absentee class members, reaching lost people for Christ, transforming your class from an inward-focused Bible study group to an outward-focused soul-saving “RESCUE” squad).

Give everyone a half sheet of paper and ask them to start a prayer list for themselves, for your class, and for people who need to be saved. Ask them to pray urgently and earnestly about those things this week. Lead a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize James 5:16. Tell them to pray every day this week, asking God to miraculously work in their needs. Remind them to follow the Daily Bible Reading Guide, found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly.

[1] The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

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