So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.— John 4:46-50
And in conclusion, notice that this is exactly what John wants us to see in his healing of the official’s son. He wants to help us overcome these blinding impulses and see the grace and the power—the mercy and the might—of Jesus as he heals the dying boy.
1) Jesus Is Gracious
First, notice the grace of it. He heals this child in a very unbelieving atmosphere. The first thing he says to the official when he pleads for his son is, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (verse 48). Jesus does not commend the man or the people around him. He is provoked at the sign-seeking false faith that abounds in Galilee. And in that context, he gives the free gift of healing.
And he gives the gift to a man he’s never met, who has attachments in some way probably with the court of wicked Herod Antipas, and who says nothing about the person or the power of Jesus. He just wants him to come.
In other words, when Jesus decided to heal this boy, it was grace. He was not looking at anyone’s merit or desert. It was a free, gracious gift. “We have seen his glory full of grace and truth, and from his fullness we have received grace upon grace.” If you have the pride of attachment or a sense of entitlement, you won’t be able to see this.
2) Jesus Is Powerful
Finally, John wants us to see not only the grace of the healing, but the power of it. The boy was dying of a fever. The power of Jesus to heal is seen in the fact that he did it with a mere word. He simply said, “Go, your son will live” (verse 50). And at that one word, the physical chemistry of a boy’s body changed.
The power is seen in that distance was not hindrance. The boy was 15 miles away in Capernaum. He could have been 15,000 miles away. It would not have mattered. When Jesus speaks with authority, there are no spatial limitations to his power.
And the power of his healing is seen in the fact that it was immediate. John draws special attention to that. They say in verse 52 that he recovered in the seventh hour—1 p.m. the day before. Then John says in verse 53, “The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’” At the very moment Jesus spoke, it was done.
See His Glory
A dying boy healed with a word, over distance, at once. Such is the power of Jesus. Grace and power. Mercy and might.
We beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. And from his fullness we have all received grace upon grace. May the Lord remove all pride, all entitlement, all blinding familiarity, and reveal to us the glory of the grace and power of Christ.