When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival. 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. 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. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.”
The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 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.” 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. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What strikes me about the synagogue official is his determination to get Jesus to come down and heal his son. Jesus scoffs at the people’s “seeing signs and wonders.” Watch what happens next: not rebuffed by Jesus’ attitude, the official insists that Jesus come with him to heal his son. Jesus tells him, “Your son will live,” and that’s enough for the official. He had come to Jesus, not seeking “signs and wonders” but only life for his son. When Jesus tells him “Your son will live,” he is satisfied because he believes Jesus’ word.
He returns home, is told that his son got better when Jesus said he would, and he has a sign that his active faith in the word of Jesus brought life. And that sign led to his whole household coming to believe in the word and person of Jesus. He was led beyond the wonders to new life, a new creation.
—Fr. Jim Riley, S.J. serves as assistant to the Jesuit superior at Colombiere Center, Clarkston, MI.
Holy God, you give the world new life
through our observance of Lent.
May we grow in your life
and continue to receive your help on earth. Amen.
—adapted from the Roman Sacramentary