In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ second sign also occurred in Cana, the location of the first miraculous sign. Cana was a small village located about ten miles north of Nazareth and eighteen miles southwest of Capernaum.
Jesus was visiting Cana for the second time when a “certain nobleman” (John 4:46, NKJV), a “government official” (NLT), a “royal official” (CSB), came to pay Him a visit. The “nobleman”, probably a member of Herod’s official court, left his finely appointed royal offices in Capernaum, and travelled the eighteen miles to find Jesus. Why? “He went to (Jesus) and pleaded with him to come down and heal his son, since he was about to die”(John 4:47).
The night before, as the powerful man had watched his beloved son suffer through another sleepless night, the worried father considered his options. He’d probably called in the best physicians in the empire. He’d paid every cost. He’d exhausted all the possibilities. But apparently, news of Jesus’ miraculous healing powers reached the ears of the nobleman.
He called to his servant and dispatched him immediately... No! No, a messenger would never work! The worried father would have to make the journey himself. The nobleman would make the urgent plea, face-to-face. The Rabbi would certainly not reject his personal request as He might the request of a lowly servant. So it was that the noblemen travelled the well-worn path to Cana.
Upon his arrival, with dust clinging to his coat, the road-weary nobleman was welcomed into the Lord’s presence. By the way, you don’t have to be a nobleman. Jesus invites each of us to “approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Jesus welcomed him compassionately, probably with a brotherly embrace.
“ ‘Sir,’ the official said to him, ‘come down before my boy dies’ ” (John 4:49). I imagine that he went on... “You must come to Capernaum immediately! My son is dying. You must stand by his bed and touch him! Please. I beg you!” To the father’s frantic cry, Jesus simply responded, “ ‘Go... your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed” (John 4:50).
Here’s where the story gets good. The worried father wasn’t worried any more. “The man believed what Jesus said!” As a matter of fact, he must have booked a room at the Ritz and gone out for a relaxing dinner. The next morning, he slept late and got a leisurely start on his journey home. “While he was still going down, his servants met him saying that his boy was alive. He asked them at what time he got better. ‘Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him,’ they answered. The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, ‘Your son will live’ ” (John 4:51-53).
Here’s what I think happened. The joyful daddy arrived at home and share the best story imaginable. He told his family about Jesus, the Healer and the Savior of souls! Their lives were forevermore transformed as “He himself believed, along with his whole household”(John 4:53).
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.