Reading Time: 3 Minutes
A father broke the rules to get to Jesus.
John 4.46-50 – Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.”
50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.
Imagine a fence with four sides. Each side represents something that qualifies you to be inside the fence. Everyone who does not abide by the four key rules of the fence is an outsider. The royal official who came to Jesus was clearly an outsider. He was not an “inside-the-fence” person.
Many of the people who sit with me in church have ingrained into their thoughts that they don’t belong. As outsiders, they have joined with other outsiders and believed that they were condemned by the normal people of society.
This story is good news in many ways. One of those ways is to show how God accepts the outsider. In fact, all of chapter four is a picture of Jesus showing love and acceptance to outsider.
A healed child and a lesson on signs.
John 4.51-54 – As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” 53 The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. 54 Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
There is a no more painful and a helpless feeling than sitting by the beside of a sick child and not being able to help. Every parent has been there to some degree, but there are some parents who know the life and death situation of their child. As a pastor, these are the most difficult situations I encounter.
In this instance, the child was healed. Praise God, but think with me for a moment. The Bible is full of examples of healed children and adults. Yet, in Jesus’ day, there were many who died from illness, malnutrition, war, and more. Don’t ask my why, because I certainly don’t know why this is the case.
Note the word, “sign,” in verses 48 and 54. When I am traveling to Independence, I never stop at the sign and declare that we are home. The sign merely points me to home and tells me how much longer we have to travel.
Jesus’ healing of the boy is a sign. As great as it is, it is not the destination. As a sign, it may bring some measure of comfort to people who have prayed for a loved one but who didn’t get the answer they wanted.
The sign points to God, who is personally concerned with our lives. The sign says that God is available to all. It says that God loves us, and is very interested in our lives.
Dear God, as I walk the halls of Children’s Mercy Hospital today, I pray for every family and child in that place. May they know your presence and may they know your healing power. For those who do not receive the healing they desire, may they experience your comforting presence.
As you go different places today, consider silently praying for all of the people you see. Ask God to help people know that he is present through the Holy Spirit. Ask him for his work in each life.