Jesus’ second sign
Devotional by David Niednagel, Pastor/Teacher, Evansville, IN. David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning devotional study (study, observe, apply, pray).
43 After the two days he departed [from Samaria] for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast. 46 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. 47 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. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. ESV
Jesus spent two more days with the Samaritans, and I’m sure those were exciting days! The woman he met at the well, and many people from the town were thrilled to have the Jewish Messiah in their midst – though they never would have thought of that before. He almost certainly healed people and taught the scriptures like they had never heard. They felt valued, and they valued Him.
He then left the warm reception He had in Samaria and continued North to Galilee, where he had been cooly received before, because He was a local boy. Mark 6:1-6 appears to be a further explanation of this and says that because of their unbelief He couldn’t do many miracles there. It amazes me that even though He was/is God Almighty who created the universe, he “couldn’t do many miracle there”. I’m sure He had the power to do them, but He limited what He did to the faith of the people.
I’m not sure of the timing of all this. It seems like he was doubted on an earlier visit, but that some of the people from there in Galilee saw what He did in Jerusalem, and that is why they were more favorable to Him on this visit. So Jesus said “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But one father was so desperate he traveled the 20+ miles from Capernaum to Cana and begged Jesus to come heal his son. Jesus showed His power and compassion more than if He had gone physically to the boy. He merely spoke the word and the boy was healed “long distance” at that very moment. So both signs there in Galilee, turning the water into wine and healing the boy, showed the power of His words, and the compassion for people in their times of great need. John’s main point is that it was further evidence that He was the Messiah, and that all the people in that household believed in Him.
Lord Jesus, You cared about hurting people and You demonstrated the power to meet needs. You understand my/our weak faith when we ask for You to heal and/or help and You do not answer the way we ask. But I believe You still do care and still have the power to do anything. Help me trust You with everything, so that You are not hindered by my lack of faith. And for me, I believe You want me to show my faith primarily by obedience, rather than by my requests. Mostly, help me live in such a way that my words and actions show that I believe You are my Savior, and the Messiah – the King of kings and Lord of lords! Amen