He returned to Cana in Galilee where he had turned the water into wine. In Capernaum there was a certain royal official whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus was coming from Judea to Galilee, he went out to meet him and asked Jesus if he would come and heal his son, for his son was about to die. Jesus said to him, “Unless you see miraculous signs and wonders, you won’t believe.”
The royal official said to him, “Lord, come before my son dies.”
Jesus replied, “Go home. Your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and set out for his home.
While he was on his way, his servants were already coming to meet him. They said, “Your son lives!” So he asked them at what time his son had started to get better. And they said, “The fever left him yesterday at about one o’clock in the afternoon.” Then the father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son lives.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did while going from Judea to Galilee.
“This was the second miraculous sign...” As we noted yesterday, John is using specific miracles as signs pointing to the establishment of G_d’s Realm through the life and ministry of Jesus. Today, the sign was Jesus healing the “royal official’s” son from a great distance. This shows us that G_d’s Realm has no boundaries. It stretches far and wide. It’s not limited to any geographical area. Israel is not the only “holy land.” In the words of one of today’s poets, “All land is holy. All land is sacred.”1
Notice, too, that the official didn’t see the sign. Jesus just told him to go, “Your son lives.” The official believed it even though he didn’t see it.
How many times have we read something, felt something, heard something from G_d but didn’t know if we could believe it because we couldn’t see it? The kind of faith Jesus requires of his followers is not a lot. It just takes the faith of children (see Matthew 18.1-5, 19.13-15; etc.). As we get older, though, that type of faith seems to get harder and harder. But, it’s obtainable. The man in the story had it. Not only did it change his life and his son’s life, but it also changed the lives of “his entire household.” The wonder, imagination, insight, and faith of children is as contagious as their laughter. G_d’s calling us to be children again. To have that kind of wonder when looking at creation. To have that kind of faith in our brothers and sisters. And yes, to have the audacity to believe G_d when everyone else tells us life just doesn’t work that way. That kind of faith changes the world and brings life from death.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC
1 Trevor Hall, “Unity,” Trevor Hall, July 2009, Vanguard Records, New York.