Caelius laid his son delicately on the linen cloth that covered their table while his wife wept.
“There must be something we can do,” Aquila touched her husband’s wool garment as if she could find solace in the warmth of it.
He looked at her, and in that brief moment in which his sad eyes met hers, a servant came scrambling into the room, bursting with news.
“Sir!” He exclaimed. “The man they call Jesus – he has returned to Cana!”
Caelius snatched his cloak and raced to mount his horse. When he reached Cana from the city called Capernaum, he searched everywhere and questioned every man he saw about Jesus’ whereabouts. When someone finally led him to this so-called miracle worker, Caelius pleaded to him to save his son.
` “Please, sir, he is going to die. My son…” his voice began to waver and he fell to his knees. “… he is…” no words could escape his lips as his heart ached for his wife and child.
Jesus looked around at the many people surrounding him and said, “Unless these people see signs and wonders, they will never believe.”
These words sparked a small fire of faith in Caelius’ chest; Jesus’ signs and wonders were the only hope he could nurture for his son. “Sir, please come down before my child dies,” the royal official begged one last time.
“Go,” Jesus replied. “Your son will live.”
Could it be? Was his son healed in this exact moment of time? Caelius did not hesitate to see. He took Jesus at his word and departed at once. On his trek home, he was met by his servant half way and was told the joyous news that his son was now well and living.
“Tell me,” Caelius said to the servant, “when was the exact time that my son was healed?”
“It was yesterday, sir, at 1 in the afternoon.”
Caelius froze. “Oh how I had known!” He shouted fervently.
“Do you not see? I asked Jesus to heal my son, and he said ‘your son will live’ at 1 in the afternoon yesterday!” Caelius grabbed his servant by the shoulders and shook him excitedly. “Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God!” He exclaimed. When he met his wife and child at home, the entirety of his household rejoiced and believed.
When reading the book of John for a Bible study with my housemates, I came across the verses in chapter 4 that describe Jesus healing an official’s son. While the official and his family do not have their names mentioned as I have written above, this story struck a spark in me, and made me realize I needed to do some faith-fixing in my life.
Many times I find that if I tell people I believe in God, they will listen to what I have to say for a time before they look at me like I need to take a reality check. This can be very discouraging – there are no words, after all, to truly explain our God. After a time, it can become very discouraging when no one listens, when no wants to hear the gospel, or when people think they know everything there is to know about God, and do not want to receive any word of it.
And this is when I try to base everything I have learnt about God on facts. While facts are true and are evidence of an existing God, what would happen if we just believed? But wait, nobody simply believes, unless you are a 5 year old child believing whole-heartedly in Santa. Although Jesus is nothing like Santa, through this story of the royal official, that is exactly what Jesus is calling us to do: Believe in me, he says. Crazy, right?
He tells the people watching him in verse 48 of chapter 4, “‘Unless you people see signs and wonders… you will never believe.’” And this is very true. We as human beings often need evidence and indication to really trust in something, which is why it seems absolutely insane to the average person to solely believe in something.
But then the story took a turn and the royal official merely “took Jesus at his word and departed” (John 4:50). Notice how he did not question Jesus, or blame him for son’s sickness. In fact, he didn’t even say anything. The royal official simply believed that his son was healed without seeing any proof.
And so I realized through this story that too many times in my life I have based my trust on some fact, or evidence, and have refused to just believe because I have been hurt by believing and trusting in something else before. But the royal official’s son was healed because he asked Jesus and believed that He could heal him.
Now, I am not saying that Jesus will fix all your problems and heal everyone who is sick if you believe that he will. The miracles that Jesus did, and the ones that God does today, are up to Him and His will. But think about all the amazing feats God can accomplish if we just let him work in our lives by believing that he can do miracles, and by trusting in him!!
I am now making it my goal (though I should have done so long ago) to take a reality trek with Jesus at my side, where I choose to believe in the amazing things He can do even in my everyday reality, my ordinary life. In doing that, I know I will find hope in every day I live. Will you join me on this reality trek?