Imagine the ripple effect of one decision to pursue a face-to-face encounter with Jesus.
After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine.And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”
Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
John 4:43-54 (NIV)
Imagine with me what it must have been like for the official. His son was deathly ill. He didn’t want to leave, but he had just received word that Jesus was in nearby Cana. I wonder if the son was aware his father had left. If so, what must he have been thinking when his father left to go find Jesus? Leaving meant taking a risk, but it also meant hope for healing, for a miracle.
The distance between Capernaum and Cana was about 20 miles, but more impressive was the difference in elevation. Cana was 2,849 feet above sea level. Capernaum was 682 feet below. Whether on horseback or by foot, this wasn’t an easy road to travel.
And yet, the official went. And, because he went, we see the incredible power of Jesus’ words heal his son. Just like the official, we can find hope in Jesus. We can find the same power, too. The official’s willingness to wholeheartedly seek a face-to-face encounter with Jesus not only healed his son, it changed the course of his entire family’s existence (verse 53).
In what ways can you and I become active participants in opening the door for the power of Jesus to change lives? For each of us it will look different, but it is my prayer that as we reflect on the power of the Resurrection, we would be willing to pursue an encounter with Jesus in such a way that not only changes us but others as well.
*Appeared first as a Lent devotional on limacommunitychurch.com.