Nobleman’s Son healed.
(The Gospel History, Section 26)
And after the two days he went forth from thence into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. So when he came into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
He came therefore again unto Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judæa into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way: thy son liveth. The man believed the word that Jesus spake unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, saying, that his son lived. So he inquired of them the hour when he began to amend. They said therefore unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.
Christ heals the Nobleman’s Son
(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book I Poem I)
One further stage trod in His heavy Way
(Stage marked by sign-post bearing Name of Grace,
The Saviour of the World), the Christ goes forth
In Galilee once more: Himself hath said
That not amongst His own hath prophet praise;
He came to the Jews, and they received Him not:
In Galilee a rumour went abroad
Of His advance, and all the people wait,—
Had they not seen signs in Jerusalem?
Again He came to Cana, where was shown
That sign of water sudden turned to wine.
A nobleman was there, by office held,
A Jew attached to Herod Tetrarch’s court,
A Sadducee, belike, as courtiers were:
Now, in Capernaum lay sick unto death,
This man’s young son: “Lo, here, the prophet, come
“From Jerusalem, men’s mouths proclaim of God.
“Might a man’s son be snatched from jaws of death
“By such an one wielding the power of God—
“If God there be—and here, a case to test:
“If God there be, and if God pity men,
“He will not let my young son’s life blow out
“As lamp in th’ wind—ne’er to be lighted more.”
He came to Christ, and, all his pride forgot,
Prostrate, besought Him for this one dear life
As a man prays to God, nor ever knew
His prayer, offence ; who wonders seek and signs—
’Tis not for these to know the power of God.
“Nay, ye will not believe except ye see
“Sign for amazement.” Ever as He goes,
The Saviour of the World, in casual way,
Drops words of our Salvation, links of chain
Let down to draw us from that nether hell
Which is but our own self to itself left;
“To believe is to be saved, but ye must will;”
“I will,” we cry, and haste to make resolve,
Spin ropes of sand can bear no work-day strain,
Because we give not that is asked of us;
Act of attention, not act of resolve,
The high demand: think we upon the Lord,
His ways of sweetness and His words of power,
Lo, we escape hell-fire, consuming souls
Aflame with desire for things that good they hold,
Fleeing their Peace the while! Attention, Soul!
The man knows not he is rebuked of Christ;
If e’en he hear, he heeds not: “Sir,” he cries,
That father in distress, “Pray, Sir, come down,
“Or while I plead my young son will have died!”
And His compassions fail not: “Go thy way”
(Thus friendly spake the Lord to the poor man),
“Go thy way, thy son liveth:” meek he goes,
Hushed all his pagan clamour for a sign,
The word of Christ enough, once seen, His face.
He went his way down to Capernaum;
And as he went, his servants came with news,
“The danger’s o’er, thy young son is restored!”
“When came the change?” he asked; no longer now
His cherished child has sole place in his thought;
“At seventh hour yesterday the fever passed.”
The father saw, at that same seventh hour,
Him suppliant, and Christ compassionate;
And faith in flood came surging o’er his soul:
Not signs nor wonders now, but only Christ,
His heart desired; and that day and the next
The Spirit stirred in the dry bones of his life;
New birth had come to him; Christ had he seen;
Old things, ambitions, rancours passed away;
And home he went, simple as a little child,
To embrace the son given back at word of Him
In whose hand is our life. His servants saw
A new man in their master; heard at large
How child of all their hopes had been restored;
And at the master’s flame each lit his torch:—
Lo, here a house, the first that served the Lord!
The child,—cried he “Hosanna” with the rest?
The man believed—what was it he believed?
Nothing can act, they say, but where it is:
Then what had acted on the sick boy’s frame,
Driven forth his malady, restored sweet life
At word of Him who spake? And who was He?
He might not put in words the thing he knew—
This Galilean noble; in dim sort,
“God is a Spirit,” was revealed to him,
“Who goeth where He listeth, none to see:
“And He that spake the word, was He True God?”
St. John iv. 43-54