October 12, 2008 - The 21st Sunday after Trinity

Today's Reading: John 4:46-54

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 11:1-25; Matthew 12:1-21

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. (John 4:50)

The greatest miracle in this story is not that Jesus healed the man’s son, but that the man believed Jesus and clung to His Word. You can imagine the man’s anticipation when he heard that Jesus had come back to Cana. He’d heard about the sign of water changed into wine. He rushed from his home and went out to meet Jesus. He was desperate; his boy was dying. “Please, Jesus, come to my house and heal my boy.”

Jesus seems put off by the whole thing and complains about people not believing Him unless they see signs and wonders. And then He tells the man, almost off-handedly, “Go home; your son will live.”

All that man had was a word from a seemingly impatient Jesus. Was it good enough? Wouldn’t it be better if Jesus had come personally and touched the boy? This word, spoken from a distance, spoken somewhat harshly, was it enough? In faith, simply trusting in Jesus’ promise, the man went home alone.

The man’s boy regained his health suddenly at the seventh hour, the very hour Jesus had said, “Your son will live.” Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the creative Word through whom all things were made. His Word does what it says. “Be light” and there is light. “Your son will live” and the son lives. “Your sins are forgiven” and your sins are forgiven. “I will raise you up on the last day” and you will be raised on the last day.

When you leave church on Sunday morning, or whenever you hear the Word of Jesus, you leave with nothing more than that man in Capernaum. You leave with a Word. But that Word is no ordinary Word. It is the Word of your Creator and Redeemer, the Word that justifies and sanctifies you. It’s all you need. Believe it.

Lord, we implore You to keep Your household the Church in continual godliness, that through Your protection she may be free from all adversities and devoutly given to serve You in good works; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 21)