Healing an official’s son
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
In this chapter we see Jesus in and around Galilee, engaging people (the woman at the well), shaping their expectations of Him as Messiah (“I, the one speaking to you-I am He”), and clarifying His purpose to the disciples (“My food is to do the will of Him who sent me”). He is challenging people to believe with their heart, not just because of the miracles they have seen.
In the midst of these activities, He returns to Cana in Galilee, where He turned water into wine. During this visit to Cana, a royal official hears that Jesus, the great miracle maker, has returned. He asks Jesus to perform another miracle by healing his sick son. Jesus was more interested in proving this man had faith beyond the need of the moment, than He was about proving His deity by performing another miracle. So, he confronted the man, saying “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” The official pleaded again with Jesus to heal his son. Jesus must have seen what He was looking for in this official’s heart, because Jesus sent him on his way with the promise that his son would live. The official “took Jesus at his word and left”. He had faith that Jesus would heal, without seeing the actual outcome of his faith. His faith was in who Jesus was, not in what Jesus could do.
If we relate to others in our world the way Jesus did in His, we will point them toward a relationship with God because of who He is, not because of what He does. Portraying God as a vending machine is a way to disappoint people. He is a Father who always does what is best for us, even though it may not be what we think we need. In this case Jesus granted the official’s request. In other cases, Jesus did not give people what they asked for. What we can model to others is to “take Jesus at His word” and leave it up to Him as to how He answers our prayers and petitions. Letting others in our life know that we are counting on God to provide for us as He sees fit, and maintaining our peace and confidence is an attractive invitation to connect people to the real God we worship.
God, thank you that you have our best interests in mind. You are our Father, and provide for us with love, care and guidance. When you bless us with tangible gifts, keep us mindful that these gifts are to bless us individually, as well as show others that you are real, and that you care about us and them. Amen. Don Simon
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