When the skin of your child burns with fever, you know that some unseen sickness dwells within. A nobleman from Capernaum in Galilee had a son who was gravely ill with such a fever. He wanted to bring the case to Jesus. The news about Jesus reached Galilee before He and His men. Why? Jesus spent two days in the Samaritan village of Sychar where He had met the famous Woman at the Well.
Worship Renewal in Samaria
It is easy to imagine the discomfort of the Twelve as they spent two days among their hated rivals, the Samaritans. We are not told of any miracles by Jesus’ hand in Samaria. John will soon tell us about Jesus’ next miracle, so let us assume that these two days were spent only teaching the Samaritans. It is reasonable to assume He continued teaching the villagers about the new era of worship that was fast approaching. Worship was the main conflict point between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Samaritans were the innovators, mixing the religion of the Jews with the idolatry their forebears brought with them from Babylon. The Jews were the traditionalists, trying to perpetuate the religion and traditions of their elders. This was at the heart of her question to Jesus about worship: in their mountain or in the Temple in Jerusalem? To this day, there continues to be conflict between innovators and traditionalists in worship. Jesus’ answer then is still His answer today.
Worship in Spirit and Truth
Jesus brought good news about True Worship:
- The Father in Heaven was searching for worshipers, and,
- True Worship would be a dynamic combination of ancient truth with current realities—Spirit and Truth!
To the amazement of the disciples, this worship would be available to all—to “whosoever will” as He told Nicodemus—and that meant even the hated Samaritans. Finally, to the great relief His disciples, Jesus wrapped up His teaching in Samaria and led them back to Galilee.
Back to Cana
Realizing that He was unlikely to be well received in Nazareth, His home, Jesus returned to Cana where He had performed His first miracle. Many of the Galileans had seen the ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem and were excited to see Him again. Among them was the aforementioned nobleman whose son was ill with a life-threatening fever. He made the journey from Capernaum to meet Jesus and seek help for his son. He found Jesus and implored Him to come and heal his son who was at the point of death. Jesus tested the man’s faith.
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
The man was not to be put off.
“Sir, come down before my child dies!”
Seeing the man’s faith and his pain, Jesus was quick to respond.
“Go your way; your son lives.”
The look in Jesus’ eyes seemed to carry the health of heaven in it. It was enough! The father hastily retraced his steps back to Capernaum, travelling through the night. As dawn approached, while he was still on the way, servants met him with the news of his son’s miraculous recovery. When he asked when it had happened, the report was the exact hour of Jesus’ proclamation.
Like the crowd who followed the Samaritan woman, the whole household of the nobleman believed on the Lord Jesus.
“This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.”
The fever of a child and the social fever of racial prejudice both fell before the healing power of Jesus.
Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast. So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.” The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!” Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household. This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
Psalm 107:17-22 NKJV
Fools, because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all manner of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
Lord Jesus, You walked this earth in power, like no man before You or since. Time has not diminished Your power. The distance between Your Throne in heaven and our needs on earth has not removed or restrained Your power. Just as You spoke the word and the nobleman’s son was healed despite the over-night distance between Cana and Capernaum, there is no distance in prayer. Your Word is powerful and unhindered by time or distance. Thank for You tender compassion and care. Amen.
I Am the God that Healeth Thee
Words and Music: Don Moen
I am the God that Healeth thee
I am the Lord Your healer
I sent My word and I healed your disease
I am the Lord Your healer
You are the God that Healeth me
You are the Lord My healer
You sent Your word and You healed my disease
You are the Lord My healer
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.