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.
In our society, where hospitals continue to grow in size and services offered, where medicines and drugs are readily available, and where each month seems to bring a new medical research breakthrough, I wonder if we realize how terrifying sickness and disease were in the first century. See how this official did not send one of his servants to Jesus but went himself and begged him to come and heal his son. Can you hear the pleading in his voice? Little did he know that Jesus was about to give him more than he asked.
Notice that even though the man twice begged Jesus to come to his home, Jesus didn’t need to be present to heal the boy. His power and willingness to heal is not bound by time and space. Also, after Jesus rebuked him for wanting to see signs and wonders before he believed, the man took it to heart; the text says he took Jesus at his word and left. He believed the word of Jesus before he had seen a sign.
Can you imagine the father’s joy as he received the news that his son was healed? And when he realized the healing took place at the exact time Jesus said it would, he believed in Jesus. And then he went home and led his whole household to faith in Jesus.
Yes, the official received more than he expected. Jesus healed not only his son’s body, but also his and his family’s souls. He did this because he is the giver of life, abundant life, eternal life. He is the Son who has come to die so that all the Father’s chosen sons and daughters might live. Are you one of his sons or daughters? Praise and worship the Lord who gives you life!