51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
On his way home, the royal official who had asked Jesus to come and heal his son met his own servants heading to Cana. Jesus had not agreed to go with the man, but had said that his son would be well. The servants were seeking him to tell him wonderful news. His son was well! The fever was gone!
The man asks them a question that teaches us as much as it teaches him. He asks when did the boy get well. When the servants give him the answer, the man realizes that the boy was healed at exactly the moment when Jesus told him that he would live.
Think of the great power of Jesus. He healed a boy from twenty miles away, a boy he had not ever physically met. He healed the boy immediately, not over time. He healed the boy completely, not a little bit. And, let’s remember, this boy was on the verge of death, otherwise his father would not have been nearly so desperate. Jesus has great power.
Because of all these circumstances lining up, the royal official now understands who Jesus really is. He believes. The way that this “believes” is used, it certainly tells us that this man has come to real faith in Jesus. He recognizes that Jesus is more than a magician or doctor; he does things only God can do.
Remember John’s prologue:
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
When we truly believe in Jesus, he gives us the right to become God’s children. He gives us eternal life.
This man wanted Jesus to come to Capernaum so that his son could be healed. Instead of doing what the man asked for, Jesus heals in a way that the man did not expect, and by doing so, Jesus reveals himself to the man. The man believes, and thus becomes a child of God. He tells his family about what has happened, and the entire family comes to believe in Jesus.
As the puritan preacher Matthew Henry wrote, “The nobleman himself believed. He had before believed the word of Christ, with reference to this particular occasion; but now he believed in Christ as the Messiah promised, and became one of his disciples.” Henry continues, “What a blessed change was here in this house, occasioned by the sickness of the child! This should reconcile us to afflictions; we know not what good may follow from them.”
Like the first of Jesus’ miracles in Cana, this one results in a group of people having true saving faith in Jesus. True faith in Jesus leads you to life. The boy lived, physically, but so much more than that. The boy and his entire family lived, spiritually, because of their faith in Christ.
Not only should you believe that Jesus’ words are true, you must also believe in Jesus for life. He does not allow you to seek only the signs he can perform or the warm fuzzies he can give. He demands that you seek him. When you do, he promises to give you more than physical earthly goodness, he promises you life, true goodness, with God.