The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household.
John 4:46-53 documents the story of the healing of the royal official’s son. Like the water to wine story, this story takes place in Cana. Like at the wedding in Cana, Jesus poses a challenge before he performed the miracle or sign as they are known in the Gospel of John. Bible scholars tell us that John calls Jesus’ work signs because they are meant to be signs that point to who Jesus is. The story of the royal official’s son does this. It points to who Jesus is, in this case, Jesus is Our True Healer.
Like the wedding story, the person asking for the sign is not deterred by Jesus’ initial rebuff. Mary was not deterred when Jesus said that his time had not yet come. The royal official was not deterred when Jesus said in verse 48, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official simply continued with his request by saying, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies” (verse 49).
What I like most about this story is that Jesus does not do what the official asks. He does not go to the boy. Jesus simply says, “Go; your son will live.” In my humble opinion, Jesus was testing out the man’s faith and belief. Would he believe that his son was healed even though he didn’t see the sign? In other words, Jesus was ensuring that the man believed no matter what he saw or didn’t see, in this case. According to verse 50, the man believed Jesus’ words.
I wonder how many of us have faith to believe God’s word when everything we see points to the contrary. I wonder how many of us would have trusted Jesus’ word in that moment.
Today, as you reflect, what is God asking you to trust him with, no matter what you see or don’t see?