Q. I have a question about John 4 where he talks about the nobleman’s son who is sick and who Jesus heals. Is it the same incident as the Centurion’s servant’s healing in Matthew 8? I have read that they are the same but are just different views. Just curious. What do you think?
A. I think there are too many differences in these two incidents for them to be the same. For example, in Matt. 8:5-13 a man approached Jesus in Capernaum. He was a Centurion, a mid level soldier in the Roman Army. He asked for healing for a servant. When Jesus offered to come to his home, the soldier declined, saying he was not worthy. Instead he said he believed Jesus could heal his servant by just saying the word, and went away believing the servant was healed.
In John 4:43-54 a man approached Jesus in Cana, which was a day’s walk from Capernaum, and begged Him to come to Capernaum to heal his sick son. John referred to this man as a royal official, which means he couldn’t have been a Roman soldier, and His attitude was far different from that of the Roman soldier’s. Although he took the Lord’s word that his son would live, he didn’t truly believe the healing had happened until he received confirmation.
In summary, I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume Matthew and John were describing the same event.