The John 4 Lenten Faith Check

Every Lent we come around to the reading of the royal official whose son was dying.  It’s a study in what it means to have faith in Jesus.   Here are my thoughts on that, which originally ran at



Today’s Gospel: John 4:43-54

How far would you travel to save your child? If you knew the cure was a two day walk away, would you walk it? Of course you would.

The royal official who sets out to find Jesus knows that Jesus can heal his son. If he has any doubts, at the very least he knows that if anyone can heal his son, it is Jesus.

He finds our Lord, asks for His help, and is answered with a challenge: Are you testing me? Does your faith depend on signs and wonders?

In his simplicity, in his complete faith, the man replies, I just need my son to be healed. Come down and do it, or he will die.

It’s not about testing You, Lord. It’s about needing You. I know you are my answer. Be my answer.

Is that so? We, looking on, cannot know the pleading father’s faith. Our Lord does. To show it to us, he says, “You may go, your son will live.”

And the man believes him. It took a measure of faith for the father of the dying boy to seek Jesus. It took a greater measure of faith for him to go home again.

Do we believe? When the Lord asks us to trust Him without being able to see the proof, do we believe?


Are you desperate for God? Is there some area of your life where you need a miracle, and God is asking you to trust Him, even though you cannot yet see Him acting on your behalf?


Dear Jesus, I believe – help my unbelief! When I have a hard time trusting you, give me courage. When I am desperate for proof, help me remember your promises. Walk with me on that long journey home. Amen.


File:Brooklyn Museum - The Healing of the Officer's Son (La guérison du fils de l'officier) - James Tissot.jpg

Artwork: James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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