YOUR SON WILL LIVE
The royal official said, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live.’ The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (John 4:49-50 NIV)
I still remember the time when Luke was about 4 years old and he became very weak overnight. We were living in Richmond Hill then. We decided to take him to a pediatrician who kept emergency hours. We were desperate. The pediatrician looked at him and checked his chest. He said, “You still need to do the x-rays to confirm it. However, I am quite sure that he has pneumonia. I will prescribe the anti-biotics immediately. Here is the requisition for the anti-biotics. Here is also a requisition for the x-rays”. Luke started the anti-biotics before he went for the x-rays. Luke was looking better within a matter of days. I will always be grateful to this pediatrician.
Therefore I can identify with this royal official. Just before this, Jesus makes a weird statement.
‘Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe.’ (John 4:48 NIV) This royal official makes a request to Jesus to come down to Capernaum to heal his dying son. Then Jesus makes this statement about people needing to see signs and wonders before they believe. Why is Jesus scolding this poor royal official?
If you see the context of this statement, Jesus is not really making a statement about this royal official’s faith. He is making a statement about the lack of faith of the people of Galilee, the province in which Jesus is at right now. He is saying that all the people of Galilee need to start believing in him, Jesus, and not to rely on signs.
The royal official has no hesitation about Jesus. He is a father with a mission. He does not want to lose his son. “Sir, I know you are here in Cana. My son is dying in Capernaum. Please sir, come down now before he dies.” I see the request of this royal official as a form of prayer. He is not intimidated about what Jesus has just said about signs, wonders and faith.
The royal official calls Jesus, “Sir”. The word in New Testament Greek is “Lord”. Lord please come down before my child dies. He knows who the kings are. He gives Jesus a title with the same status as his boss, King Herod. He is a royal official.
Jesus does not waste any more time. “Go, your son will live.” Jesus moves from making the statement about the unbelieving Galileans to addressing the son of this nobleman. Jesus does not make the trip to Capernaum. Instead, he says, “Go, your son will live”.
We contrast the faith of the nobleman with the unbelief of the Galileans. The man takes Jesus at his word and leaves. In the New Testament Greek, it reads like this. The man trusts Jesus’ word and leaves. The man believes Jesus’ words and leaves.
How about us? Do we take Jesus at his word? Do we trust Jesus’ word? Do we believe Jesus’ word?