43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there. 46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed. 54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
An interesting story – Jesus wandering around the country visiting and revisiting places – and people wandering around the countryside. This story talks about the fact that many of the people in Galilee had visited Jerusalem and they had seen what Jesus had done there. I have a picture of life in these times being one of staying around home most of the time. Travelling meant walking mostly so travelling from one place to another was an effort. Jesus made that effort – He wanted to bring His story to as many as possible. People made the effort – to follow the rules or to trade or for many other reasons. Relationships of all sorts were about face-to-face interactions.
This story then talks about the official who came to Jesus to ask for help for his sick son. Another person who made the effort to come face to face with someone and was willing to ask for His help. Going on this journey to the next town when your child was so sick was no small thing. He left his son at home with the child’s mother and other family and friends I assume. It did mean, though, that he might miss being there when the child died, if that was to occur. He gave up a lot – potentially – to go and get help. He was confident that this was not the end for his son, or at least that it was worth the effort to try this one last thing. Hope is a powerful thing. Jesus had painted a picture of hope by the things He did in Jerusalem. That hope was then taken on by so many including the official. God responded to that hope. A beautiful picture.
Lord thank You so much that You built us for relationship, that we live our best lives in community with hope in ourselves, each other and in You. Thank You that You demonstrated that so well when You lived amongst us. Help us to remember daily that we can place our hope in You. Amen.
Written by Therese Manning