Not by Miracles But by His Word

John 4: 43-54
Is 65:17-21 / Ps 30:2, 4-6,11-13

Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.
(John 4:48)

All it took was for him to believe,
As doubting would be an obstacle;
Indeed the official’s son would live,
Faith is the way to God’s miracle.

At that time Jesus left Samaria and returned to Galilee, since Jesus Himself testified that a prophet had no honor in his native place. The Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival. He came again to Cana where he had performed His first miracle, changing water into wine. An official from King Herod’s court, whose son lay ill in Capernaum, heard that Jesus had arrived from Judea, and he went to Jesus and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was at the point of death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But the official replied, “Sir, come before my little boy dies.” Seeing his faith, Jesus said to him, “Go, your son will live.” The man believed Jesus, and started on his way. Along the way, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them when he began to recover, and they told 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. This was the second sign that Jesus did after returning to Galilee. (John 4:43-54)

Reflection

It seems at first glance that Jesus was admonishing the royal official. This, however, was not the case. In this instance, our Lord was addressing the crowd of people who were following Him, and pointing out the general attitude of the Jews in Galilee, as when He had earlier said, “a prophet has no honor in his own country.” (Mk.6:4) Unlike the Samaritans and the Gentiles who were willing to take Him at His word as the Messiah, the Jews were not. Instead they kept asking for more proof through signs and miracles. Being omniscient, Jesus already knew that the royal official had faith in His power to heal his son by merely saying so, and sure enough, the man went home without hesitation or doubt after Jesus said, “Go, your son will live.” Jesus also knew the condition of the hearts of the Jews, even as far back as their ancestors who came from Egypt. In the Book of Numbers, God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?” (Num.14:11)

Clearly, it is not in witnessing signs and wonders that we are transformed and saved. Faith that depends on miracles is shallow and superficial. It is what we might call an external kind of faith. The faith that God wants us to have is an internal one that is not influenced by what our senses perceive. True faith springs from the hunger of one’s heart to experience God’s love. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, stirring the longing of our soul, after it has been nourished by the Word of God. Yes, faith comes after hearing and reading the precious messages of the Father in Holy Scriptures. During this Lenten season, let us spend more time reading the Bible, so that we may fully understand that God wants to heal our soul more than our physical ailments. It is by listening to His Word (reading the Bible) regularly that our faith will fully develop; it is the source of healing and nourishment of our spirit.

Thank You, Lord for making us see that it is not miracles that can change our hearts, but the messages that we learn from the Bible, where the truth of who Jesus is, and why He came, is revealed to us. Amen.

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