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John12 – my child is dying

So he came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine.
The record of the occasion when Jesus “made the water wine” is in John’s first-century eye-witness biography of him – in this series: John6 – the first of the signs.
And there was someone - a kingly person - whose son was weakening in Capernaum.  This one, having heard that Jesus had arrives from Judea into Galilee, came away towards him and was asking in order that he may descend and may heal his son, because he was about to die. 

This “kingly person” had travelled the 16 miles from Capernaum to Galilee to plead with Jesus to descend with him a further sixteen miles. This Jesus (was he not the Jewish Messiah?) had just arrived from Judea. This “kingly person” wanted something from him. The imminent death of his son was his problem - it filled his mind and heart.

So Jesus said towards him, “If you all may not see signs and wonders, you may never believe.” 

Jesus’ words might well be taken as a criticism of the man – except for the fact that he used the plural for “you”. The words are therefore a general statement that folk will never believe without seeing “signs”. So “signs” there must be…

The kingly one states towards him, “Lord, descend before the youngster of mine is dead!” 

Will Jesus “descend”? How far down will he go to save a child from death?

‘He descended to the accursed death of the cross. There were no lower depths possible, for the cross speaks the whole curse of God upon sin. It is descent unmatched, unrepeated, unrepeatable.’(Anon.)
Jesus states to him, “Depart! Your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus said to him and he departed. 

This man found within himself the ability to “depart” – to go back the 16 miles - knowing only that the “word that Jesus said to him” was to be believed and would be carried out by that man. “Your son will live.”

In fact, he already descending, his slaves went to meet him, stating that his child lives. So he inquired from them the hour in which he had improved. So they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 

“Slaves”? That seems to indicate just how “kingly” this person was at that time. But even  having  slaves is useless when dealing with death. Note that it was when he was “already descending” that the message came. Maybe Richard Syvret needs to learn that the way up to life through Jesus is by going down.

So the father knew that as that same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives,” and he himself believed, and his complete household.

This “father” had “travelled on” believing only “the word that Jesus said to him”. Now, whilst still on his journey, he is journeying on by living faith in Jesus. And so are all his loved ones – “his complete household”.

‘Only he who believes is obedient; only he who is obedient believes.’ (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, theologian and ant-Nazi dissident,  1906-1945)
In fact again Jesus did this second sign, having come from Judea into Galilee.

John, Jesus’ biographer, seems to emphasize that this Jewish Messiah (Greek = Christ) had come away from Jewish territory ("Judah”) in order to bless – greatly bless – non-Jews.

After the first “sign” in Cana of Galilee, John recorded “and his disciples believed in him”. After this “second sign”, a “kingly person” and a “father” and a “son” and a “complete household” “believed”. Joy. Wine instead of water.

Sinner Syvret

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