Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
Here was an official, who probably wasn’t a Jew or a follower of Christ, coming to the Messiah for a miracle. This man’s son was ill to the point of death and the father was worried. So, he made a bee-line to Jesus, whom he had heard was able to do miraculous things. The worried father requested that Jesus come and touch his boy to heal him. Jesus responded, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But the official was persistent, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
The worried father requested that Jesus come and touch his boy to heal him. Jesus responded, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But the official was persistent, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus responded, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But the official was persistent, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
But the official was persistent, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Then Jesus did something so powerful and magnificent, something only God could have done. He spoke. The father believed what Jesus said and went on his way. Before the official made it home his servants came and told him his son began recovering at the exact moment Jesus had spoken. This bolstered his belief and even resulted in his whole house believing in the Messiah.
This is a familiar story for those of you well-read in the Gospel accounts. Yet, so often we pass by the little details as we read the familiar passages. I wonder, did you catch what was going on in this well-known story?
The official hadn’t come to the Messiah because he knew Jesus was the Christ or because he was interested in the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy. Really, the man wasn’t even interested in seeing Jesus perform signs and wonders. All the official was interested in was the health of his sick son. He came to Jesus with a great need. Sure, he had heard that Jesus could perform miracles, but he was not coming to see him perform these signs and wonders to be entertained. No, his hope was that this Jesus could heal his son with the power he had.
We see that this is true because he doesn’t even see the miracle of healing at work at all. No, he believed what Jesus said and went on his way home. The results were exactly as Jesus had said. His son was healed.
The amazing thing about this miracle was that Jesus didn’t even have to be present with the sick child to heal him. All Jesus did was speak and it happened. There is power in his word. Here we see his word bringing restoration of life.
Perhaps the more interesting part of this story was that the official took Jesus at his word. He never questioned it, was never skeptical, and really never doubted what Jesus said. He believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and when his servants brought him the good news about his son his faith was strengthened and his household believed. Jesus was loyal to his word. The worried father believed in that word.
Do we have the same type of loyalty to the Word today? When we hear it read to us in church, read it day in and day out, or when we are in times of chaos do we have the faith that the official had in Christ’s word? Do we believe that there is power in the Word? Or is it just an old story that might inspire us but could never change us? How loyal are we to Christ’s word?
Do the words of the beloved hymn ring true in your heart?
Then in fellowship sweet
we will sit at his feet,
or we’ll walk by his side in the way;
what he says we will do,
where he sends we will go;
never fear, only trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.