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John 4:46-54, Healing Stories

Tuesday, February 6

Belief that Starts Small

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Jesus was now well into his ministry, teaching and healing across the countryside. People had heard of his work and were beginning to wonder about him. In Cana, where he had already performed a miracle, Jesus encountered a man whose son was dying. Desperate, he begged Jesus to come and heal the boy. Here's where it gets confusing, as John's gospel tends to do. Jesus told the man he would not believe unless he saw "signs and wonders." But it seems to me the man did nothing but believe. From the moment he approached Jesus, through the exchange of words, to the time he returned home to find his boy alive, the man believed.

Believed what, though? The man believed Jesus could save his boy. So what might Jesus have been referring to? Perhaps Jesus was proclaiming to the man and to all who were gathered that they were demanding signs and wonders in order to believe a greater truth -- that Jesus had come from God and was speaking and acting on behalf of God. This was a truth so large, it would take miracles to shake the complacency from their eyes and open their minds to envision Jesus' reality. They needed to witness great things before they could believe even greater things. And greater things were certainly on the way.

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 4:46-54

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.

Earlier Event: February 5
John 4:43-45, Jesus Returns to Galilee
Later Event: February 7
John 5:1-18, Jesus Heals on the Sabbath