The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. John 4:49-50 (NLT)
John records the second “sign miracle” that Jesus performed in Galilee. Following a divine appointment in Samaria where an entire village came to Christ, Jesus returns to Cana where He had changed the water into wine. He was met by a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. John tells us that, when the official heard that Jesus was near, he went to Jesus and begged Him to come to his home and heal his son who was about to die. Jesus’ response was not what you might expect. Jesus said to the man and those with him,
Will you never believe in Me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders? (Vs. 48)
Was Jesus rebuking him? I don’t think so. I believe He was describing our human condition that says, “If I can see it, I’ll believe it!” But, Jesus was about to turn that around! Jesus was teaching a principle of faith we need to catch. “You’ll see it when you believe it.”
As you can imagine, the official pressed harder. He was at his wit’s end, and he believed that, if Jesus didn’t come to his home and heal his son, the boy was sure to die. We would do no less would we. This was his last hope. He pleaded,
Lord, please come now before my little boy dies! (Vs. 49)
While the official believed Jesus could heal his son, he made two common mistakes. First, he assumed that Jesus had to be there with his son to heal him and, second, that it would be too late for Jesus to help if the boy died! Jesus would teach this man—and us today—that God works the miracle in His time and in His way.
Jesus’ next response was just as unexpected as His first:
Go back home. Your son will live! (Vs. 50)
What would you do? This was certainly not what he had expected or had in mind. Sometimes, our expectations of what God should do and how He should do it get in the way, don’t they? You have to give some credit to this official though. He made no further appeals. As desperate as he was, he chose to believe Jesus and returned to his home. By the time he reached Capernaum some 20 miles away, the official’s servants ran to meet him with the good news that his son was alive and well! In fact, when he inquired as to when the miracle occurred, he realized it was the very time Jesus had told him to go back home! At this point, not only did the official believe but his entire household believed in Jesus. (Vs. 53) Common sense says, “I’ll believe it when I see it!”, but faith says, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” The man believed what Jesus told him and, when he acted on that assumption, he saw the miracle!
Are you in a crisis of faith? Seek God for His Word to you. What has He said that you simply need to believe Him for today that could change your life and the lives of others? Then, trust God to work the miracle in His time and in His way.