We’re going through the gospel of John looking for a greater understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going to be in chapter 4 tonight looking at the second sign that Jesus performed. Note that he performed that in Galilee at Cana. He had been in Judea and was passing through Samaria on his way to Galilee. Let us go to the text at this point to see what happened.
43After the two days he left for Galilee. 44(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there. 46Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48“Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
49The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.”
53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.
54This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
The case that we have here is of a boy who is sick. We do not know what with, but we know that he is near death. Jesus is at Cana and from Capernaum comes the official whose son the boy is. He begs Jesus to heal him. He begs Jesus to come to see the boy before he dies.
Jesus tells him to simply go. His son will live. The translation we have says “You may go.” Jesus speaks with authority. While one may think the official is the one who would give the orders, it is Jesus instead who is giving the orders.
The official obeys however and goes back and on the way is greeted by his servants who tell him that the boy is living and the official finds out that it was the time that Jesus said “Your son will live” that he was healed.
Living is mentioned three times then. John wants us to know that. Could there be something also to the mention of it taking place on the 7th hour? Numbers mean something in John, such as Jesus coming to Cana for the first time on the third day. That doesn’t count against true chronology taking place, but it is a point worth pondering.
What is the purpose of this sign? For one thing, Jesus’s divine authority as he is at a distance and healing. Let us remember the lesson we got from the centurion’s servant in Matthew 8 and Luke 7. Secondly, that he is life. John emphasizes this by mentioning it three times.
Tomorrow, we will be skipping for the Easter weekend and begin blogging on the resurrection. Hope you’ll be there for it.