Just as when Jesus turned water into wine, this miracle happens discreetly. It happens at a distance. It happens without flourish. Rather than going with the man, Jesus tells him, Go, your son will live. The official was not present to see his son revive. Neither were those with the son present to hear Jesus' words of healing. How could the official be sure anything had happened? How could those who saw what had happened be sure the boy’s recovery had anything to do with Jesus? Someone needed to join the dots. The joining of the dots happened as the official travelled towards home, and met his servants who were travelling to meet him with the good news about his son. “While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he enquired 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 realised that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he and his whole household believed.” (John 4:51–53)
What difference does this make to us today? We need to 1) Follow the signs. Jesus did seven significant signs in John’s gospel, each of them revealing Jesus’ glory as the Son of God. However, some people then, as now, did not look at what the signs pointed to. 2) We need to connect the dots, to see the big picture, to understand what the signs mean. 3) We should be growing in faith. It is faith that helps us join the dots, to make the connections and to see beyond the events in the bible to the revelation that Jesus is God’s son.
As we gradually begin to gather again as a church following the recent lockdown, the signs of Jesus can help inspire our faith, bring us comfort and spur us on in our purpose as Christians. It is not enough that we join the dots, see more clearly and follow Jesus ourselves; we also need to help others do the same.
How did you join the “spiritual dots” that helped you see who Jesus is and to follow him?
How might you help others make similar connections so they can begin to see who Jesus is and put their faith in him?
Rev John Malcolm