March 16, 2015

Gospel JN 4:43-54
At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The royal official said to him,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
“Your son will live,”
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.
From Cana to Capernaum and back is close to forty miles. That is the approximate round trip distance from my home in Easton to Boston.
If my son was dying from a life threatening illness, would I walk forty miles on the off-chance that a man rumored to perform miracles could save him?
Undoubtedly, I would.
Upon arrival in Cana, the man asked Jesus to make the trip to Capernaum and heal his son.
And, what was Jesus’ response? He makes what seems to be a somewhat curt reply to the man: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The man does not react pridefully, but instead he remains calm, replying in return, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
I can almost hear the quiet desperation in his voice.
All parents have something in common with the father from Capernaum, who lived over two thousand years ago: a parent’s love knows no bounds.
A person’s faith is seldom one hundred percent but Jesus tells us, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”
The Bible contains a clear definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
In today’s story, the degree of the father’s faith was evident by the fact that he had walked a great distance fueled by the hope that Jesus could deliver what he desperately desired: the healing of his son.
Seeing the man’s faith, Jesus was able to heal the boy and told the man, “Your may go, your son will live.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24