In John 4.46-54 we read of the second sign recorded for us by John, that of Jesus healing the official’s son. Towards the end of the passage the official is returning home and is met with the news his son is recovering, and we read,
The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.
He believed before (v.47), but now he believed more. His faith was deepened by his personal experience of God’s power. We’ve said before that in the Gospel of John the signs are given to lead the reader to faith (20.29-31).
The first two signs that we have talked about took place at Cana. The first was at the best party ever – a wedding party. The second was connected with the worst tragedy ever – the illness and soon death of a child. Jesus is real in both aspects (Guzik). In both cases, people were involved who believed in Him before, but, if we really break down how John writes, we see that in both cases his language and his grammar tell us that the disciples at the wedding and the father/official here put their faith into Jesus in a newer, deeper way.
This text, John 4.46-54, teaches us that Jesus can heal miraculously – even at a distance, that distance is no diminisher of the deed. Because of this distance, this man believed without any signs at all, he didn’t see his son being healed – do you believe like that? Do you believe that distance is no diminisher of the deed? Do you believe Jesus at His Word? Are you willing to trust the pattern we see here and not demand signs and wonders and miracles first?
The big lesson of this sign, then, is twofold;
that Jesus’ power is able to save from death even at a great distance,
and that His Word has power to work; people are simply to believe His Word.
Whether you are experiencing sadness or gladness, whether you are near or far, Jesus is the man for the moment. Celebration or devastation, wedding or funeral, Jesus is the one we can count on. So whatever it is that you are working through now, whatever trial, tribulation, whatever circumstance, whatever you need help with now, Jesus is the one to help.