Knee Jerk Devotional: January 8, 2021

John 4:46-54


Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king's court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: "Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe."

But the court official wouldn't be put off. "Come down! It's life or death for my son."

Jesus simply replied, "Go home. Your son lives."

The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, "Your son lives!"

He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, "The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o'clock." The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, "Your son lives."

That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee.

We continue our exploration of the signs of Jesus during this brief season of Epiphany with the “second sign.” The first, was turning water into wine and now the second, healing with a word.

Have you considered recently the power of a word?

It is amazing how much healing can come about through a simple word.

Often, that word needs to be, “I am sorry.”

Another healing word is, “I was wrong.”

The power in those two phrases is disarming. You really can experience healing with just a word.

Obviously, in this story the healing is of a physical ailment. The man’s son is about to die and he wants Jesus to heal him. What’s so interesting to me is Jesus’ response. His assumption is that the people are just looking for a sign. They want to see something miraculous. As I puzzled over this, I think it’s because of the insistence of the court official for Jesus to come to his home to do this miracle. Finally, he relents when he believes the “bare word” of Jesus and heads home. He learns that his son was healed and that it happened at the time of Jesus’ speaking the word.

We learn in many other places that words have power and that they can bring life and death. In our speech we can incite love or violence. With our speech we can inspire or destroy. Our words can heal or kill.

In this story we are confronted again with the reality that words have power.

How will you use your words today? Will they be used to bring healing and love? Will they be used to bring death and destruction?

The choice is ours.

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