John tells us about seven miracles in his gospel. The second is about an influential man who was an official in Herod’s court. He was also a man of wealth, but he had a seriously sick son near death. As a result, this man was desperate for help. The account states that Jesus returned to Cana, where he had performed his first miracle, and this nobleman lived in Capernaum some eighteen miles away. No doubt he had heard what Jesus did at the wedding, turning water to wine, so he went to solicit Jesus’ help to heal his son.
Upon finding Jesus, he begged him to come and heal his son. Jesus’ reply was puzzling, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). Jesus’ answer seems harsh, but in reality, Jesus was lifting the man’s faith. People were viewing Jesus as a showman who does miracles and not as the savior.
Jesus then said to the man, “Go, your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed (John 4:50). Jesus did not go to his home, but he gave him something to take—it was his word. The man took it and believed it. For this nobleman, believing was seeing his son healed. He didn’t rush home. Maybe he stayed to listen to Jesus for the rest of the day because it wasn’t until the next day that his servants met him on the way with the news his son was well. He realized it was the same hour Jesus said his son would live.
When he returned and talked with his family, they were all impacted by his testimony of Jesus. John writes: 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 (John 4:53). The influence of a believing father over his family is powerful. All of his family—including servants believed. His wife, Cuza mentioned in Luke 8:3 may have been the woman who helped support Jesus’ ministry.
The takeaway from this story is learning to take Jesus at his word. If we are people of the Word and believe it, we can take it to heart and accept it, which is the definition of faith.
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