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16 March 2015

Read today’s Gospel Reading:  John 4.43-end

When Jesus says, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe’, is he rebuking the man’s unbelief, or is he simply stating a matter of fact – he would not believe unless his son was made well?

Actually the man does not seem particularly interested in theoretical questions about belief or unbelief – all he knows is that his son is at the point of death, and that Jesus could heal his son. He is desperate, and he has been told that Jesus can help. Like so many today, the royal official cries out to Jesus from a place of darkness and fear.

What is remarkable though is the immediate trust with which he accepts Jesus’ assurance, ‘Go, your son will live.’ What was it about the way Jesus said this that gave him the confidence to set off home?  ‘The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and went on his way.’

When the Holy Spirit speaks to us, whether through the Bible, or through another person, or in the stillness of our hearts, we get confidence to go on our way, trusting in Jesus. It is along the way that our faith and trust are shown to be well placed. In the case of the royal official, it was when he was on his way that news came of his son’s recovery.

What situation are you facing at the moment in which you need to hear God’s assurance? Maybe you are at the point of desperately pleading for help. Maybe you have reached the point of setting out, daring to trust God. In any case, let this encouragement from St John’s Gospel spur you on to trust more. Wait, and see – God will embrace you.

Pray for everyone else reading this online today – may we all encounter the healing love of God in Christ wherever we are!

Today’s Gospel Reading:  John 4.43-end

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honour in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.

Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.’ The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.