B. Evidence of a nobleman’s son (Jn 4:46-54):
The occasion for this miraculous “outreach” of Jesus reached over a distance of about twenty kilometers (about sixteen miles). At the time, Jesus was in Cana, but the nobleman’s son was in Capernaum (Jn 4:46). When the desperate father “heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him” (Jn 4:47).
Only the father of a son who is near death could understand the desperation of this father. The son “was at the point of death.” He thus pleaded with Jesus, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” It is interesting to note that Jesus gave only a simple reply to the desperate plea of the father: “Go your way. Your son lives.” It was an emphatic declaration. No explanation was needed. This statement was made about the seventh hour of the day, and immediately, the father set out for home, believing that Jesus had answered his plea.
The response of the father manifested his faith in what Jesus could do. He was a pleading father in the presence of Jesus, but with a faith that would be increased by the healing of his son. We would expect that he would urge Jesus to personally come to where his son was about to die. But his faith moved him to leave immediately to return to his son. “And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken to him and he went his way” (Jn 4:50).
He traveled throughout the night in order to return to his son. We wonder what was going through his mind as he made his way back home to the bedside of his dying son. While he was yet some distance from home, but still on his way, his excited servants met him on the road in the morning hours, and proclaimed to him, “Your son lives!” (Jn 4:51). It was there that men probably fell to their knees in thanksgiving to God.
When the father regained his composure, he obviously asked his servants when the child was healed. He wanted to connect the dots between pronouncement and healing. The servants replied, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him” (Jn 4:52). When the father connected the dots, the healing had its immediate effect on the hearts of both father and servants, and the entire household: “And he himself believed, and his whole house” (Jn 4:53).
And herein is defined John’s use of the word “sign” in reference to the supernatural work of Jesus during His ministry. This healing was a sign of something greater than this world, and thus, greater than the man Jesus Himself. Belief on the part of the father and his household was evidence that Jesus had control of that which was beyond this world. The result, therefore, was more than gratitude. It was belief that Jesus was the Son of God who had control of the supernatural world of God.
We must compare this miracle that took place over a great distance with the theatrical performances of those today who claim to be working confirming miracles. In this case, there was no fanfare. There was no gathered audience. There was no smoke from a stage, or screaming from a microphone. There was only a simple statement from Jesus, and the deed from a distance was done.
When we read what Jesus promised His disciples when He gave them the great commission, we must remember what transpired in the circumstances that surrounded this sign. After saying to the disciples, “Going, therefore, disciple all the nations,” Jesus promised, “And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt 28:19,20). Jesus did not have to be in their presence in order to be with them. Our relationship with Jesus does not mean He has to be right here with us in order to be with us.
Jesus had earlier promised the disciples, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20). As the omnipresent God was with David, so He is today wherever there is a child of God: “Yes,” David wrote, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me” (Ps 23:4).
The power of Jesus is in our presence in every situation, and under all circumstances. In prison, Paul confidently affirmed, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Ph 4:13). The strengthening of Jesus is not confined by location, as the power of Jesus to heal the nobleman’s son was not confined to Cana where Jesus was at the time. As one with God, Jesus is now omnipresent, and thus, His power encompasses the world. Therefore, “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom will I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom will I be afraid” (Ps 27:1).
We must not think that because Jesus ascended out of the presence of His disciples that He ascended out of reach with His power. The preposterous teaching that we now need another mediator between God and man because Jesus is so distant, attacks the very nature of the omnipresence of God. There is one mediator between God and man simply because Jesus will always be close in order to mediate on our behalf (See 1 Tm 2:5).
[See you tomorrow.]