Picture this possible scene in an upper bedroom in Capernaum, in the house of the royal official who made the journey to Cana to implore Jesus to come heal his son:

It’s been almost three days since the child has been awake. His breathing is so shallow as to be virtually imperceptible, his fever raging. The third doctor has just left, who, like those before him, conceded there was nothing more to be done. The mother, wild with grief, is surrounded by family and neighbors weeping and praying. She curses her husband for the fool’s errand that has taken him away from her when she needs him so much. At the same time, she hopes he will somehow succeed in his mission to compel Jesus to come back with him and that Jesus is truly capable of doing what her husband suspects. Herod, along with his entire court, is painfully aware of the tragedy of this young life about to leave them. Around one in the afternoon, the little guy suddenly sits up, declaring, ‘I’m starving!’ His mother grabs him in the tightest of hugs, crying and laughing and kissing him at the same time. She realizes he is no longer hot! She grabs his face, looking deeply into his eyes, and sees no sign of fever! He’s speaking again: ‘Are there any lamb kebabs? I think I could eat five! Oh, and some raisin cakes!’ Servants are dispatched to prepare the young master’s requested meal, and there is now an atmosphere of celebration spreading throughout the house and the court as news travels! Two of the husband’s servants quickly volunteer to make the trip to Cana to find the father and announce this incredible, good news.

John’s Gospel account gives no detail on what action or prayer Jesus did that brought about the little boy’s healing. Nor does John record for us the disciples’ reactions, of which we can be certain there were several. They must have been shocked at the harsh tone in Jesus’ voice in response to the father’s request, then doubly shocked that the father was sent home, with only a spoken promise. They’d seen Jesus raise up a widow’s son, so they know that’s possible but bring healing from twenty miles away?  This is a startling new facet of the power of this Kingdom. It’s effective over long distances! It made your head spin! Just when you thought you had a good grasp on Jesus, his message, and this Kingdom, a new revelation opens up, stretching stretched beliefs still further.

Sometime later, at the Passover meal in the upstairs room with his disciples, Jesus solemnly makes this announcement: “ . . . I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me . . .” (Luke 22:29)This Kingdom! The same one that has been taking their breath away repeatedly for over three years! This Kingdom – now theirs?! An immediate weight of power and authority and responsibility settles on their shoulders. Are they ready? Will they ever be ready? Will we?  PD

Share This