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The good news for the day March 27, 2017

Monday of the Fourth Week in Lent (244)

A couple of days after the “woman at the well,” Jesus left Samaria for Galilee. (Jesus himself had testified that a prophet gets no respect in his home town.) When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, because they had noticed everything he had done in Jerusalem at the Holyday; since they themselves had been part of the celebration. He went back to Cana, Galilee, where he had made the water wine. At that time, there was a high government officer whose boy was sick in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come into Galilee from Judea, he went to him asking Him to come down to cure his boy, who was nearly dead. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see significant and amazing wonders, you will not come to believe.” The officer said to him, “Sir, come on down before my child dies.” Jesus told him, “You may go on; your son will live.” The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was still on his way back, his underlings met him and told him that his boy was going to live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday, early afternoon.” The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was His second significant wonder—Jesus did this when he came to Galilee from Judea. (John 4)

You always want to spend some time sifting the whole story, like watching all the colors of dawn or sunset. This version of a commonly told tale has a (hated) government official approach an as-yet-unknown, wandering prophet to ask for help. Humiliation, faith, love, trust, and mutual respect are woven together throughout this story (which comes to us in several versions—Luke and Matthew). John’s version emphasizes the man’s importance—the “royal/government” position he holds, to remind us in this way of the humility involved. He had come a day’s journey, we note. He walked away, trusting, we note. He converted his household, we note. A true believer—and we have to assume in a political position resented by many. How do we treat one another, the story asks you and me? We are both Jesus and the petitioner.

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