After the two days He departed for Galilee. (For Jesus Himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in His own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. (John 4:43-54, ESV)
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Do you remember the little old lady who lived down the street when you were growing up?
The lady who would watch you when your parents had to run to the store. You hated being in her home. You hated hearing her stories of the “old days.” You couldn’t care less about her life growing up on the southern coast of California where her father started a world-wide candy company. But you loved that she gave you the best candy. She would always give you candy made from her secret family recipe. You knew, even as a child, that this candy was in high demand all over the world, but you didn’t want any sort of relationship with her. You only wanted the gift she had to give.
These people knew Jesus had performed incredible works, but they only wanted Him for His miracles, not for a personal relationship. They didn’t really care who He was; they only cared about what He did.
Jesus knew He would have to show these people that they needed more faith, and when the official arrived, the perfect opportunity presented itself.
The royal official (probably an officer in Herod’s service) walked 20 miles to see Jesus. He heard of these spectacular works, and needed this man. When he found Jesus, he asked Him to heal his son who was dying. But Jesus responds by saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” He said this for everyone to hear, not just the official. He knew that the majority of the people only wanted to see miracles.
The official’s response, however, is great. “Sir, come down before my child dies.” He addressed Jesus as “sir,” putting himself under Jesus even though he had legal authority over Him.
Jesus tells the man to go home, and that his son will live. Sure enough, the boy was healed.
I’ve tried to put myself in the official’s shoes. How would I have reacted to this response from Jesus? When he asks Jesus to heal his son, Jesus’ response is simply, “Go, your son will live.” I would like to say that I would have as much faith as this official did by not asking any further questions and returning home as Jesus said to do. But I honestly think I would have trouble believing that my son, who was 20 miles away, was just healed. I would need to see it. I would want Jesus to come home with me and heal my son.
But, this miracle was not performed just to save a dying boy. This was a sign to everyone that heard or saw what had happened. The government official had faith that Jesus could do what He claimed. The official believed, and then saw a miraculous sign.
He believed, and then saw.
The official not only believed that Jesus would heal his son, but he obeyed Him by returning home. We can’t just say we believe that Jesus will take care of our problems. We have to act as if He can.
When you pray about needs of your family and friends or about the world’s problems, live as though you believe Jesus can do what He says.
Because He can. And He will.
Take some extra time to pray big prayers of belief. Without a doubt, our Savior is at work among you.
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[guest writer: Derick McKinney]