He approached to Jesus with a simple request: come to Capernaum and heal his son, who was dying. (John 4:46-54) He had no other hope.
Jesus’ response was puzzling. This well-known teacher and healer started discussing belief. The father had asked for healing, hadn’t he? Wasn’t that belief?
But Jesus lumped him in with his countrymen: “unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” Jesus had just returned from Jerusalem, where people thronged to the signs he had done. In Samaria, his ability to tell a woman her past opened doors for deeper discussion. People clung to the miracles.
Desperation was in the man’s reply: please hurry before my son dies.
“Go home,” Jesus told him. “Your son lives.”
The crisis took shape. Would the man remain to badger Jesus? Would he leave Jesus and the opportunity for healing? What if his son wasn’t healed?
Were Jesus’ words those of promise or dismissal?
Amazing words follow for the man believed Jesus’ word and went home. We know he later learned his son was healed at the time Jesus sent him home.
We learn something of the nature of belief. Jesus challenged this weary and worried father: believe my words, not what you see. Your people demand to see but I want you to trust my words, not my actions.
Life is linked to belief. Jesus’ words, not a visible sign, led to life. A man and his household discovered life through the Word.
Next: Tying the knot