A child on the doorstep of eternity will drive a father to extreme measures. And that’s probably why the nobleman traveled all the way to Cana: to lure Jesus back to him in the wild hope this rabbi could heal his son.
People talked and the stories swirled about healings in Jerusalem, strange occurrences in Samaria. The father was hoping to see his son restored to health.
You may be familiar with the story, found in John 4:46-54.
Because the story takes place in Cana, it forms what’s known as an inclusio, a bookend of sorts with John 2, where Jesus turned water into wine in Cana. The nobleman’s story completes a unit in the text that we can study for common threads.
We’re going to spend some time trying to follow some threads. Try to review John 2-4 this week, not necessarily reading each verse carefully but scanning to get the larger picture.
Starting in Cana, Jesus turned 6 jars water into wine. We don’t know if anyone saw the miracle, only the results. But we do know it resulted in his disciples believing in him.
Then Jesus traveled to Jerusalem, where many saw him do miracles and believed in him. We discussed earlier how he did not trust their believing, however. Their belief was based on what they saw and that belief faded when he was no longer in sight.
Nicodemus, in John 3, opened a discussion with Jesus by carefully explaining what he knew. Jesus challenged the knowing. You think you know what you can see but that seeing hasn’t produced correct knowledge.
We next read about John the Baptist, who was telling about something he had not seen. However, he told his listeners, Jesus told about what he had seen. “He tells what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them!” (John 3:32)
In Samaria, Jesus moved a conversation from water to eternity, reminding the woman she worshiped what she did not know.
And then we read the account about the nobleman, who came to see Jesus.
Next: Is seeing believing?