So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. (John 4:46-54)
Faith In His Word
The miracle of turning water to wine in Cana established Jesus of Nazareth as a man who was a very special person. Few people realized what happened until after the event. Not long after His first miracle, Jesus is approached by a man of nobility begging the miracle worker to heal his son as he was near death. After a gentle rebuke, the man continued to insist that Jesus come to his house. In a remarkable example of His power, Jesus tells the man to return home as his son would live. It was a long way home and he knew he would not know whether his son lived or not until the following day. Rushing home, the man’s servants meet him on the road telling him his son lives. Asking when his son had been healed he knew it was the exact hour the day before Jesus spoke the words of healing. The man was astonished. As he entered his house, tears of joy overwhelmed the family as the young man stood before him whole again. The man told his wife and family what Jesus had done and they all believed Him to be the Son of God.
Many other miracles would follow as Jesus showed the glory of His Father to the people. He would touch lepers, raise the dead, make spittle to cure blindness and on occasion heal without being present. The second miracle was one of the most powerful testimonies of His compassion. He had turned water to wine in Cana and the nobleman could have been there or heard about the event. When he learned Jesus had returned to the area, he made the long trip seeking help to save his son from death. The response Jesus gave was not what he expected. He asked the man from Nazareth to come heal his son. The nobleman believed Jesus could do that. If He could turn more than one hundred gallons of water to wine then He could heal his son.
Jesus first response was a mild rebuke. He did not say yes and He did not say no. This did not dissuade the man as he implored the Lord emphatically that unless He come to his house the child would die. Jesus could see the tears in his eyes and the determined look that nothing was going to keep him from begging help for his son. Jesus did not go with the man. He made no gesture to follow the man. To the amazement of the nobleman and everyone there, Jesus told the man to return home and he would find his son alive. Faith was now being tested. Should the man believe Jesus or implore Him to come to his house? The faith of the nobleman was so great he quickly left and began his long journey home.
Asking for a miracle to happen before his eyes was one thing but to believe that Jesus could heal with just six words was a faith seldom seen in Israel. The journey home must have been grueling. He would not reach home until the morrow. How was his wife? Was his son alive or dead? He pressed on believing in six words. Seeing his servants meeting him on the road must have been a moment of concern. This soon vanished when the joyful smiles of his servants told the story. His son lived. His life returned to him the same hour the day before Jesus had promised his son would live. What a rejoicing. The whole family united in knowing the man from Nazareth was the Son of God.
The nobleman believed Jesus could heal by only speaking the word. He found this demonstrated when he returned home. The word of God today is unchanged. We do not have miracles today because the power of the Son of God is in the word, not in the healing. What so many people miss today who are enamored with so-called miracle workers is that if they would only believe in the word, they would find healing. Jesus healed by saying a few words. We have the complete revelation of the mind of God revealed in the Bible and this will heal everything that troubles man. Believe in the word!
Faith comes when Christ is recognized as divine and His word becomes the way and the truth and the life. (Martin C. D’Arcy, The Nature of Belief, 1958)