Miracle at lunch time- Monday, 4th Week of Lent- John 4: 43-54
Yes, the gospel is precise! “Yesterday at one in the afternoon, the fever left him” and with those words, the royal official realized that this was a lunchtime miracle. We are told that this royal official and his whole household believed. So who was this royal official? If he was ‘royal’, we can only surmise that he was a member of Herod Antipas’ family; the very man who put John the Baptist to death. Why would Jesus help an official from the household of His cousins’ killer?
But Jesus was no stranger to helping those who were considered His enemies. Take a look at the preceding verse of the same chapter. Jesus had encountered the Samaritan woman at the well and then stayed two full days in her village; shockingly as their guest! It was the Samaritan folk who acknowledged Him to be, “truly the saviour of the world.” That’s not all, John 4:41, the very chapter from where our text is taken, tells us that these ‘traditional enemies of the Jews’ had believed in Jesus because of His WORD.
So what’s common so far? BELIEF in Jesus’ WORD! The Royal official asked Jesus to make a physical trip to Capernaum to heal his son. To the official’s request to ‘come’, the official was told ‘go’; and in faith he believed and went. ‘MANY Samaritans’ (verse 39) believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony BUT (verse 41) ‘MANY MORE’ believed in Him because of His WORD.
Now let’s come to our text where we are told that Jesus heads from Samaria to Cana in Galilee. He has testified (verse 44) that a prophet has no honour in his own country and now He does the strangest thing; He goes back to his ‘own country’, Galilee. Surprise, Surprise! Unlike His own prediction in verse 43 of not being received with honour in ‘his own country’, we are told one verse later (verse 45) that the Galileans WELCOMED Him. Now why would Jesus contradict himself?
The answer lies in the same verse. The Galileans ‘welcomed Him’ not because they BELIEVED (like the royal official) or that they accepted His WORD (Like the Samaritans) they ‘welcomed Him’ because they had ‘seen the miracles He had done in Jerusalem during the festival for they were there too.’ It is for this reason that the words of Jesus stand true in condemnation of His ‘own people’, for they welcomed Him merely for the ‘signs and wonders’ He performed and not because they ‘believed in Him’ per se ( verse 48).
This begs the question, what are we looking for; a sign or a saviour? The ‘lunch time miracle’ is the second ‘sign’ that Jesus worked after coming from Judea to Galilee. Not so much a miraculous healing but the opening of hearts to believe in the Son of God. Signs, point to a greater reality and that’s why the gospel of John speaks of signs rather than miracles. Jesus was not there to work wonders and entertain those around Him. His purpose was clear, to draw people to believe in Him as the Saviour of the World.
Written on behalf of the Holy Spirit
Fr Warner D’Souza may be contacted on whatsap on +91- 9820242151.
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