Bible Study Wednesday: The Gospel According to St. John 4:43-54

In this section of the Gospel, Jesus has just come back from the festival in Jerusalem.  He was back in Galilee and the Galileans remembered him and the miracle he performed there (water into wine).

There was a royal official who was in Galilee; he had a sick son in Capernaum.  When he found out Jesus was in Galilee, he sought Jesus out and begged him to heal his son.  Jesus starts to criticize the official because he only wants a sign.  The official continues to plead with Jesus, asking him to come to Capernaum to heal his son before he dies.  Jesus tells the man his son will live.  At this the official believes Jesus and goes on his way to Capernaum.  As he was going down, some of his slaves met him on the road and told him, his son had recovered.  Further, it was revealed that his son started to recover at the same time Jesus had told him, his son would live.  This confirmed the belief the man had put in Jesus and he and his whole household believed in Jesus.

There are some interesting things going on in this story, but we kind of have to put ourselves into the story.  I am at a point in my life now that I can empathize with the official in this story.  If my daughter was sick and on death’s door, if I heard about some holy man anywhere near my region, I would seek him out and ask him to heal her.  I would also not give up when he says that I just wanted a sign.  I would say I want my daughter to live!  If someone told me, go your daughter will live.  I would thank him/her and run to my daughter to confirm the statement.  I would also be willing to believe in someone if I was told at the same time the holy person said she would live, she recovered.  It is hard to not believe when someone puts your family to rights.

I think another point that this story points out, is what Jesus came to do, put the world to rights.  Now it might not seem like one healing could set the world right or start to undue the curse of Adam and Eve.  However, this just want it means.  This family was restored to its fullness (as far as we know).  Healings are one of the best examples of putting things to right.  It is taking someone that is not whole (at least in the sense of God created Adam and Eve whole); they are sick or unhealthy in some way and thus not perfect, physically or mentally.  When we have an illness either something has invaded our body or our body is malfunctioning in some way.  Jesus healing someone is putting them back to the way that they were meant to be, before something happened (I am sorry if that sounds offensive).  In some ways Jesus is bringing about the future restoration/resurrection perfection into the present.  It is almost an appetizer or foretaste of what is to come, when God puts the whole creation to rights.

Question: What areas in your life need healing or to be put to rights?  How is God making this happen?  Have you asked him to heal that area?

About Jesse

I am a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary with a Masters of Arts in Theology focusing on Church History. I am a Third Order Benedictine monk, in the Company of Jesus. I am married to a wonderful woman, we just had a baby Michaela Rose. You can follow me and be alerted of new blog post by following me on Twitter @jtalexanderiv. Or following this blog.
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