The Healing of a Royal Official’s Son


Our focus the last few days and for the next couple of weeks, is on the supernatural acts of Jesus, healings, miracles and sign wonders. Today we look at how Jesus healed a person from some distance away:


And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47When 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. 48“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50“Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed (John 4:46-53).


The Capernaum royal official believed that Jesus could make his son well because he had heard all the stories of the miraculous signs Christ did in Jerusalem. The Greek word translated “royal official” is basilikos, meaning “kings man.” This was a person of high rank, one of Herod’s trusted officials. His rank means nothing now though—he was a man in need of his son’s healing. As he saw the boy’s health declining, desperation, hope and faith in God began to rise when he heard of the miracles and healings of Christ.

The Royal Official Had Four Growth Spurts to His Faith


1) He believed enough to walk 19 miles to see Jesus. The Scripture says that he lived with his son in Capernaum on the edge of the Sea of Galilee. He took quite a gamble because he could have used his time to go see the doctor. Instead, he placed his faith in Christ and decided that if he went himself, he would plead with Jesus to travel the nineteen miles to Capernaum to lay His hands on his son. The five-hour walk to Cana, I’m sure, was a time of brokenness and heartache at the thought of losing his son. Had he made the right choice? What if Jesus was too busy? Can He do the things that they say He can do? Do I have enough time to go this far and for Jesus to get back in time? One wonders if the boy was already in a coma when the father left. The royal official was sure his boy was dying (v. 47).


2) He begged Jesus for His help. The words begged him to come, in verse 47, is in the imperfect tense, so it should be paraphrased that he kept on begging Him over and over again. This man would not let up; He put all his hope in Jesus. He made his plea out of urgency and desperation. The very thought of losing his son was unbearable. This was a man who cared deeply, and he would do anything for his son to be better. Wouldn’t you? This desperate man, dressed in his official garb, drew a crowd who wanted to see what was happening.


3) He believed Jesus’ word that his son would live. The Lord said to the man: “You may go; your son will live” (verse 53). If it had been me, I would have said, “What, no sign! No prayer! What is this? That’s not the way it’s supposed to happen! How can I know that what you say is true? Are you saying that I am just supposed to believe the work of healing has been done without you coming and laying hands on him?”


When he got home the next day, he found out that the miracle happened at the seventh hour of the previous day (v. 52), exactly at the time Jesus had said, “Your son will live” (v. 53).


4) He and his whole household believed. When he got home and saw his family, can you imagine the joy that flooded his soul? No wonder his whole household believed when they found out that the very time Jesus told him to go home was the very time his son was healed. Isn’t the Lord amazing?


Taken from the Gospel of John found in the All Studies box on the Home Page. Click on study 9. Jesus Heals the Royal Official’s Son (John 4:46-54). Keith Thomas