When the Bible tells a story of a
we can be sure that there is an underlying motive;
that the writer is saying something spiritual indirectly;
using another situation to make his point.
Here we see Jesus returning to the area of his home.
he might have expected a hostile reception, but
(a) He is said to have already done a miracle in that area
(b) The stories of his time in Jerusalem had preceded him.
As a result he was well received.
Jesus had seemingly been working wonders in Jerusalem,
but we are not told in what way, or more about them.
John's informant seems to have been Galilee based,
but the power of rumour had travelled ahead,
both to him and to the paternal nobleman.
The actual healing seems off-hand.
The anxiety of the nobleman is brushed off,
and yet the healing is attributed to that very hour.
So what message is embraced within this story?
* Perhaps that rumour and distance exagerate the facts;
producing unfounded expectation in the credulous.
It was the "faith" of the noble that made it work.
Only because he believed was there any story to tell.
* Perhaps Jesus was telling the news it as it was.
The nobleman's son lived near Jerusalem and Jesus had news of him.
It was a tale that could easily be enspirited and turned
into a parable.
* Perhaps the story is part of defining the role of Jesus.
He is not a court magician, a seeker of fame or position.
Jesus was compassionate but not really interested.
His mission was to the poor, not to such as this;
not to the upper echelons of a stratified society.
* Perhaps Jesus is shown as rejecting any truck with collaborators,
those who pandered to the Roman occupiers of his homeland,
who slaughtered and raped and killed in retribution
for the rebellion of the starving peasants.