Going Home

Jesus Heals the Official’s Son

John 4:43After 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.

Have you ever tried to return home after being away for a number of years?  I’m not sure whether home changes that much, or if our memories of home are skewed by sentimentality, but in any even, home is never quite the same when you return as it was when you left.  Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.”  Jennifer Nettles and Jon Bon Jovi sang a song that asks the question, “Who says you can’t go back?”  Kathy Mattea sings, “I want to go back and wash my face, deep in the river of my old home place, I want to walk in the waters that once gave me life.”

Jesus knew the difficulties of returning home again.  He was fully man and fully God, so I would imagine as a boy,and as a teen, there were times He did things that did not point toward His being the Savior of the world.  His brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors undoubtedly would have a hard time as seeing Him as the Messiah.

When Jesus arrived in Galilee, He was welcomed, and soon approached by a man who asked that his son, who was near dying, be healed.  Jesus’ reply was, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will not believe.”  Does that response seem rather cruel to you?  I have to admit, this is not what I would expect Jesus to say.  Where is the compassion, where is the love we have come to expect?

Remember, though, that Jesus had just traveled through Samaria where the people believed on Him without any signs, without any miracles.  It must have been frustrating to Jesus that He came to do so much more than heal the sick and raise the dead, yet the crowds were clamoring for Jesus to heal the body, when He really came to heal the soul.

Are you sick in body and seek the healing touch of Jesus?  Then ask for His healing, but remember His primary mission upon this earth was to seek and save the lost.  That mission has not changed.  Does Jesus still heal today?  Of course He does, but He longs to reconcile you to the Father.  May that reconciliation, that redemption, be your primary focus as you seek after the Savior.

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