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#54 An Officer and a Gentleman

Jesus heads back to Cana, but passes by Nazareth, saying a prophet is honored everywhere but his hometown. Word quickly spreads that Jesus is back.

A Jewish gentleman, an officer of the king, has a son in Capernaum who is dying. The doctors have given up on him, when his father hears that Jesus is in Cana. The desperate officer determines to find Jesus and ask his help.

He arrives, presses through the crowd, but Jesus is not what he expected. His faith waivers. Could this common, dusty man be his hope? Still, he is his last hope. So he asks.

Spirit had already shown Jesus the father’s pain and his conditions for faith, before he left Capernaum: If he heals my son, I’ll believe he is the Messiah. Jesus wanted more for him than his son’s health; He needed the gentleman to feel his own spiritual poverty so he could heal his faith and gift him with everlasting life, before giving his son temporary life.

It was painful to Jesus that his own people failed to hear God speaking through him, so he says, “Unless you see a miracle, your request granted, you will not believe.”

In a flash of insight, the horrified father sees his conditions for the arrogance they really are, his own crippled heart, and his motives. He realizes that his doubt could cost him his son’s life. In agony he cries out, appealing to Jesus’ love, “Sir, please come before my son dies.”

John 4:43-49

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