John 4:43-54 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he [a government official] went to Cana and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.
Luke 9:28-36 As Jesus was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white…Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.”
In the first chapter of Karis, All I See Is Grace, I tell the story of meeting God in a park, at a time the doctors told us there was no hope six-week-old Karis could live. God asked me to trust him, to believe he would never leave or forsake me. He gave me the ability to believe what he told me. That weekend, while I was away from the hospital, God worked a miracle. Karis’s intestine functioned for the first time. The nurses and doctors started calling her “Miracle Baby.”
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I thanked God this morning for a talk he recently had with my husband, showing him something he had never understood before about his relationship with me. After 43 ½ years of marriage, that felt, and still feels, miraculous. It untangled some knots between us we didn’t know how to unravel, though we tried many times. It showed us God cares about us even in small things. And it helps me trust God to show me what to believe and what path to take in other challenges of my life right now.
In his Gospel, John doesn’t include the Transfiguration, the event in Jesus’ life Anglicans remember today, the last Sunday of Epiphany. An interesting omission, given John’s theme of revelation! But one of the main “lessons” of the Transfiguration is right here in John 4: Listen to what Jesus says. The official listened and believed him. Later, his entire household believed, and John calls that miraculous too.
Perhaps, like the official in this story, and like Thomas, I need “signs and wonders” to believe when times are tough, and God graciously provides what I need. Maybe you don’t. Jesus told Thomas, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:29-30). Either way, what is Jesus saying to you? Ask God to let you hear the word of love he is speaking to you today.