“ After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 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. 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. 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. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 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.” 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. This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.” (John 4:43–54 NIV11)

I believe that this story is one of an important contradiction. On the one hand, we are told to follow the signs that lead to Jesus, and on the other hand, we are told to be careful about signs. I believe that this story is more than an account of the healing of an official son. Even though this healing is a powerful act of Jesus’ grace and might, Jesus can heal. And lastly, I believe that this story will demand from us a response, that which will unsettle us, it will make us uncomfortable. It will either cause you to grow in your relationship with Jesus or you will be left with a Jesus that is only useful when we need him.

So I would like to say three things about this story.

  1. Signs

“ After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 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. 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. 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. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” (John 4:43–48 NIV11)

It is implicit in the text that the activities of Jesus, the signs that he performed, were becoming more and more part of his ministry, more and more people became curious; they became aware that Jesus was someone special. Jesus was thought to be one of the prophets, a great teacher or a miracle worker.

It is fascinating that John begins this passage by telling us that Jesus was well received in Galilee. This is in contrast with what Jesus says in verse 44, where he stated that “a prophet has no honour in his own country.” This is a reference to Mark, Luke and Matthew where they speak as Nazareth of Galilee where Jesus was rejected. Jesus was well received in Samaria, and now he is making this strong statement.

Why the change of mind?

Perhaps, there was a change in people’s attitudes toward Jesus in John 2:23 says:

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.” (John 2:23 ESV)

Why, is then, Jesus reaction is so aggressive even when he is well received in Galilee?

When the request of healing the official’s son is presented to Jesus, he does not act in character with the “good Jesus”, the one who performs signs, miracles and wonders! Indeed, this is what he does, does he not?
This is Jesus, the son of God, who came to heal, did he not?

Why is he saying “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” (John 4:48 NIV11-GKE)?

I have been studying signs and wonders for a time now. I have seen and witnessed miracles, signs, wonders, I have prayed for people in Jesus’ Name, prayed for pain to go and sickness to leave, and they have in Jesus name. Jesus still heals.

So, when I read these verses, for me, it is not just a story told in the Gospel. I am not telling you something that I have read on a commentary on the Gospel of John.I have seen it, I have experienced it, and I now it is true.

I am moved by Jesus, making this statement!

“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe!”

What is he saying?

I believe that he is saying at least two things:

  1. He is making the point that people’s attention is placed on the signs and not in the One who creates them. That is, people love the signs and wonders but rejected Jesus. The signs pointed to Jesus, so that we can believe in him. We can’t place the ultimate value only on signs and wonders that makes Jesus just a miracle worker, a great teacher, a powerful prophet, he is all that but above all He is the only Saviour. I know this to be true! I have experienced this! At one point in my life, I was so fascinated by the wonders and signs, that I lost sight of Jesus.
  1. Jesus is saying that we need to be aware of how we value Jesus. I will come back to this in my last point.

Signs should lead us to believe in him.

  1. Healed

“And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 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. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 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.” (John 4:46–52 NIV11-GKE)

This is the apparent contradiction that I referred to earlier!

Jesus warns about the signs and wonders, and now what we see him healing the son. Another powerful sign!!

It is incredibly sad when I hear people denying the mercy of God, his compassion and his will for us. God is good. It is God’s plan for us to be healed, saved and delivered. The very word Salvation, which means SOZO has that meaning, Healed, Saved and Delivered.

We have a father, a very influential man, and an officer who has heard of Jesus’ reputation, he has heard that there is a miracle worker who can deliver his son from the claws of death. He has heard that there is a man who can heal his son. He has heard that there is a man who turned that water into wine who can now save his son and his family’s legacy for generations. (Jesus is not just the Jesus of the poor! But it is the Jesus for all!!)

We see Jesus doing this again and again in the Gospel. If it is not a father, it is a mother pleading for their sons and daughters.

This is so powerful, this father could be you and me.

Let us stopped been cynical!! Let us stopped saying that if this were today, the father and mother would have taken the child to the doctor and therefore there was no need of Jesus. I find that absurd, inconsistent.

What does a mother and a father do when they hear that their children are really ill? Whether they are aware or not a prayer is lifted to heaven! Oh please, God, do not let this happen to my child! It is almost automatic! Why? Because for a moment we realise we are finite, for a moment we realised that our lives do not depend on us but God.

This Father could not bring the son, so he travels from Capernaum to Galilee. This father speak to Jesus, trying to convince Jesus to travel back with him “Sir he said”, the father is aware of Jesus status and humbly asked Jesus. “Sir, come down with me before my child dies”. This is life and death! “Jesus said: Go, your son will live.”

Yet, this compared with other accounts of Jesus’ healing, this is different!

  • Jesus does not lay his hands on the boy!
  • Jesus commanded the father to go back and declared “Your son will live.”
  • He does not rebuke the sickness.

Would you take Jesus’ words at first value? or

Would you wait for a sign?

How would you react?

  1. I came all the way here, and this is all I get?
  2. I came all the way here, I heard what you did, and now you asked me to go back?
  3. Where is the sign, Jesus, where is the sign?

So, for a people looking for a sign, this story is disappointing,
But for people who takes the Word of Jesus as this father did then it is Salvation, it is Healing, it is Deliverance and it is Salvation. It is a powerful sign that leads to the Saviour.

The father believed Jesus’ Words that was enough for him and on his way back to Capernaum news comes to him that his Son is well, that he is alive!

The sign is Jesus.

  1. Believe

“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.” 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. This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.” (John 4:52–54 NIV11-GKE)

The father wanted to know more; he wanted the details because it is essential.

Jesus said to him “Go, your son will live” and the father believed Jesus and he went back home with a Word, with a Promise. He went back home and believing.

Now the father inquired about the time when his son became well and when he realised that it was at the same time when Jesus declared “your son will live”, something powerful happened – He and his whole household believed in Jesus!

He heard the signs, he went up to Galilee, he spoke and met Jesus, he went back home, and in the space of two days, he was convicted and convinced that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. He believed, and he led his whole household to believe in Jesus.

Now, just before I finish, let go back to the second point that I made on my first point about signs.

I said that we need to be aware of the value we place on Jesus.

Do you value him for what he does or for who he is?

Do you go to Jesus only when you need him or do you go to Jesus because you love him?

This is why I said this story would demand a response from us.

A response that either will cause you to grow in your relationship to Jesus or you will be left with a Jesus that is only useful when you need him.

The truth is that He has not given us that option to us; he did not intend it.

He made it very clear; He is the Lord.

“Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” – CS Lewis

Published by darioleal

Dario is a husband, father, pastor and passionate pursuer of Jesus and His Kingdom. He is a Pastor, loyal friend, and walks the walk when it comes to being a carrier of God's presence. He expects things to happen when he prays for people. He loves having fun and eating olives (preferably at the same time).

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enjoying God Blog

Releasing, Building, Growing

D.L.

Releasing, Building, Growing

Reflections Of A Blue Collar Christian

Countercultural Spirituality

FaithinIreland

Patrick Mitchel's Blog

Cliftonville Football Club

Releasing, Building, Growing

Global Mission Awareness

Just another WordPress.com site

RT Kendall Ministries

Releasing, Building, Growing

Brilliant Perspectives

Releasing, Building, Growing

%d bloggers like this: