Red Letter Conversations - Discussion 9

Discovering life in the words of Jesus
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The Father of a Dying Son

Jesus Speaks to the stages of growing faith


Pray together for the group meeting, and any pressing needs within the group.


Each week you’ll spend some time reviewing the previous week’s lesson. Did anything happen last week that brought the lesson to mind, and what did you learn from it?


Watch the following discussion-starter video. It’ll set the topic of discussion for the group.

Read John 4:46-54

  1. One person will first read the scripture selection in the King James Version.
  2. Next, another person will read the same passages in a modern language or amplified version for more clarity such as the New Living Translation (NLT), Message Bible (MSG), New English Translation (NET), Amplified Bible (AMP), etc. We recommend using the YouVersion Bible app.


  1. One person will begin retelling the scripture passage in their own words (a new person to start each week is great!) Then…
  2. As a group, work together to fill in gaps and build the story. This will help us internalize and own it. Be sure everyone participates.


Together, share around the group how the topic and scripture setting applies to your life personally. Here are some thoughts to consider for discussion… don’t let the discussion stop here, though… what questions can you ask that will help uncover God’s message?

Stage 1: The Crisis – vs. 46

  • What was the crisis the man was going through? 
  • What role does crisis play in generating faith in people?
  • When do we “feel” faith the most? In crisis, or in good times?
  • What can we assume about the man’s reputation among others in the city?
  • What role would the man have played in solving other people’s problems?
  • How might he feel now having a problem of his own that he can’t solve?
  • Do the poor and the low in society have more problems, or the rich and powerful? How different are they really?
  • Was this man’s burden a curse, or a blessing? Why?

“It is well when trouble leads a man to God, instead of away from God. Affliction is one of God’s medicines.” – A.W. Pink


Stage 2: Humility – vs. 47

  • This wasn’t Jesus’ first time in Cana. What happened when he was there previously? Based on this, what might his reputation be in the city?
  • How might the nobleman have heard of Jesus?
  • What city was the man from? How could he have known about Jesus and his ability to heal his son?
  • Why did the man leave his son and come himself, and not just send a servant?
  • What does this tell us about the man’s faith?
  • On the road from Capernaum to Cana, what do you think might have been going through the man’s mind?
  • Did this man have to express humility in coming to Jesus? Explain.
  • What role does humility play in our approach to Jesus?

Stage 3: Request – vs. 47

  • What role does desperation play in our approach to God?
  • In your own prayers, do you feel you accomplish more with or without the feeling of desperation?
  • Note this verse says the man “begged” Jesus. Here, desperation turned a powerful man into a beggar. Describe what his begging may have looked like. What was his posture? What were his words?
  • When we are in need of God, what kind of words are necessary for us to pray?
  • What 3 specific things did he detail to Jesus in his request?
  • Does Jesus want us to tell him our needs? Explain.
  • Does Jesus need us to tell him how to meet them? Explain.
  • Did the man use his wealth or position to get special treatment from Jesus?
  • What qualities of a person are necessary for Jesus to answer prayer?

“The only thing wrong with your plan is when it’s not Jesus’ plan. He doesn’t need your advice on how to do it, he just needs your request and your obedience.” – Jay Jones

Stage 4: Persistence – vs. 48-49

  • What did Jesus say people wouldn’t do without signs and wonders?
  • What is more important to Jesus, our answered prayers or our belief in Him? Explain.
  • Does God work miracles in order for people to believe in Him?
  • Does He prefer to do miracles in order for people to believe in Him? Explain.
  • Was Jesus reprimanding the man in his statement about signs and wonders, or challenging him?
  • In what ways do you feel God honors persistence in our prayers?
  • How does persistence help in developing our own thoughts/faith?
  • How did the man express persistence to Jesus?
  • Was his persistence an act of faith, or a desire for signs/wonders?

“Faith is confidence in God’s faithfulness to me in an uncertain world, on an uncharted course, through an unknown future.” – Unknown

Stage 5: Obedience – vs. 50

  • The man said, “Come down”, and Jesus said, “Go”… He wanted Jesus to trust him, but what did Jesus want?
  • How does God use our obedience to strengthen our faith?
  • Capernaum was 22 miles from Cana… a long walk home. Did he have more faith to come to Jesus in the first place, or more faith to walk home alone?
  • Will obedience always be paired with confidence? With Joy? Explain.
  • What risk did the man take by walking home without Jesus?
  • Describe a time in your life when Jesus asked you to proceed in a different way than you had planned.

Stage 6: Confirmation – vs. 51-52

  • On his way home, the man’s servants came to him. What was the news they shared?
  • In what ways does God give you confirmation about His answered prayers?
  • When did the healing take place along the man’s journey home?
  • How often do we feel despair or questions while waiting for an answer from God?
  • How often is the miracle already given before we realize it?

Stage 7: Commitment – vs. 53-54

  • Three times in this story the man believed Jesus. What does this show us about how God continues to increase our faith?
  • After the miracle, what impact did the man’s faith have on his family?
  • How might God use your faith to reach those around you?
  • Have there been times in your life when you questioned God, even though he was working for you? What did God do in response?
  • What role does God’s willingness to answer our prayers play in our commitment to Him?
  • Eventually, God always shows that He is faithful. What impact should this have in our commitment to Him?

“The job of a coach is make men do what they don’t want to do so that they can achieve what they’ve always wanted. That’s what Jesus does for you and me.” – Tom Landry, former Dallas Cowboys head coach

Next Week’s Scriptures

The Harried Homemaker: Christ Speaks to the Problem of a Too Busy Life – Luke 10:38-42