John 4:43-54 (NIV – UK)
Jesus heals an official’s son
43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honour in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
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 ill 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 enquired 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 realised 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.
A HOUSEHOLD SAVED
Jesus said ‘‘Go, your son will live’ (v. 50). That is the power and authority of Jesus. The one through whom everything was created – the Word who was spoken in the beginning – he merely needs to utter the words and it is done.
But behind Jesus’ healing of the official’s son is something important. Jesus said: ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe’ (v. 48). Jesus performs this healing – he gives this sign – because he sees that it is what the official and his family need to believe in him. It seems that this healing takes place, not for healing’s sake, but so that this household might be eternally saved through believing in Jesus – a far more important healing.
Yet not everyone will see signs and wonders with their own eyes. When Thomas doubts Jesus’ resurrection in John 20 Jesus shows him the holes in his hands and side. Because of that, Thomas believes. Yet Jesus says: ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ (v. 29). To see a miraculous sign may bring some to believe – yet for others it may harden their heart to Jesus further still. Seeing a miraculous act of God is faith building and wonderful, yet faith in Jesus does not need to be based on signs and wonders. The biggest sign and wonder we will see is the work of Jesus in our own lives – a transformation of the mind and heart.
Question: Have you ever witnessed a miraculous work of God? Do you feel your faith in Jesus is dependent on seeing such things?