Sunday, June 19, 2011

John 4: 46-47. Jesus hounded for healing

Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

As I said last time, Jesus was quite famous already and his fame was as a miracle worker. The 'water into wine' incident would have really well known in Cana. We also know that John was quite sparing in his recount of Jesus' Miracles. In Mark's gospel we learn that Jesus, early in his ministry, was overrun with people seeking healing, so much so that he got up early the next day and went off to a solitary place to pray. When his disciples found him they told him that everyone was looking for him and his reply was "Let's go somewhere else." He was reminding them and us that his main purpose wasn't to be a mere doctor but to salvage men's souls.

The previous miracle and Cana was a Jewish thing. A Jewish wedding reminds us of Topol and Fiddler on the Roof, - very Jewish, but this second miracle at Cana is perhaps a Gentile thing. The Royal Official may well have been, like Herod Antipas, an Edomite or even a Roman. however, this cannot be certain, though it would be wrong to identify him with the Centurion in Matthew 8 or with Chuza or Menaen of Herod's household is without any foundation.

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