On the 4th week of Lent we turn to John’s gospel to follow Jesus into Jerusalem, where he does great wonders and confronts a hostile city. Most of the weekday gospels till Holy Week will be from John.
On Monday, we read the story of the father, a royal official, who arrives in Cana to plead with Jesus to save his dying son. (John 4, 43-54) Is this another version of the story of the centurion from the synoptic gospels? “Your son will live,” Jesus tells him. The father believes him and as he returns to Capernaum finds out from his servants that his son was cured at the same time Jesus said he would live. “He believed and his whole household.”
The power of Jesus is not limited by distance or time, this miracle makes clear, and so John sees it as “the second sign.” The power of Jesus is unbounded, like the power of God.
“Your son will live,” Jesus tells the father. Is the father seeking life for his son an image of the Father who will not let death claim his Son, but brings him to life. God is not heartless before the mystery of death. Can our Father in heaven be less loving than the father from Galilee pleading for the life of his son? God infinitely surpasses the powerful government official. The Father of Jesus, our Father, never wavers; he brings us life.