The man kneeled at his son’s bed. He watched the boy’s face, looking for any sign that Adam was hearing and understanding. He and his wife sat for hours watching, praying, and listening. Outside, people milled about as they prepared for a time of mourning.
John couldn’t stand it anymore. He abruptly stood and headed for the door. He poked his head out first to gather his courage then stepped into the bright sun. John shook in anger and frustration. Speaking loudly so everyone could hear, he pleaded, “Please, go away. Our son is not going to die. If you want to do something for us, go home and pray to God for divine intervention.”
The people looked at him in surprise. They whispered to each other saying John was in denial but eventually they disbanded and went home. He breathed in the fresh air and realized his house had the stench of death. He quietly closed the door and crept back into the darkened house.
John threw himself at the foot of his son’s bed and sobbed. Mary rubbed his back and her tears fell quietly. John suddenly got up, with new direction and determination, and together, he and his wife sat in deep concentration, willing their precious son to be well again.
Instead, the boy twisted and writhed in a feverish state. Mary wiped his forehead with a cool rag and fanned him. Adam stopped moving then arched his back and gave an ear-piercing scream. He lay still again, his breathing labored.
Mary grabbed her husband’s arm and dragged him away from the bed. She got on her knees and begged, “Husband, please, we’ve got to do something. Just watching him, willing him to live is not working.”
John looked down at her and said, “Mary, I don’t know what to do. Our only son is dying and I can’t stop it.” This time John fell on the floor beside her and sobbed.
Mary spoke into his ear, “John, I heard about a man named Jesus. The whole countryside is talking about him. He turned water into wine in Cana and remember how he told the Samaritan woman all about her past? This man acts as if He speaks to and hears from God himself.”
John angrily pulled himself up off the floor and Mary with him. “What can this man do that we haven’t done?”
Mary grabbed his shoulders and looked at him. “What have we done? We’ve done nothing except watch Adam slowly slip away from us. I won’t do it anymore. Please, John.”
“I suppose I could send a servant.” John turned to do that when Mary stopped him.
“No, it has to be you.”
Tears dripped down John’s face. He looked old and haggard. He took hold of Mary and embraced her. He whispered in her ear, “I can’t leave him.”
Boldly Mary said to him, “You can. You have to. Do it for Adam. Please.”
He knew in his heart she was right. This job was too important to leave to a servant. He kissed his son one last time then took off down the road. As he walked, he thought, If this Jesus can see into the past, why couldn’t he change the course of the future?
John caught up with Jesus at Galilee. He courageously walked through the crowd and forced his way right up to the man.
“Jesus, please come with me. My son is dying.” John tugged at Jesus’ arms to get him to follow.
Jesus stood His ground.
John begged him, “Please, its life or death for my young son.”
Jesus looked at him with compassion and told him, “Go home, your son will live.”
Jesus spoke with such authority that John took Him at His word. He grudgingly walked backwards away from Jesus but as he turned, his heart suddenly felt light. His mood lifted. The farther he got from Jesus, the more his faith seemed to grow.
As he walked back home, his servant ran to him and announced, “Your son lives!” He asked what time Adam’s fever broke and John learned that it was the very hour Jesus said his son was healed.
Instead of a funeral, there was a great celebration and John and his entire household believed in Jesus and were baptized. Forever after, the family concentrated on Jesus and His life-changing words. As Adam grew, John excitedly repeated those special words to him that Jesus said that day: “He lives!”
Author's Note: A fictionalized account of the healing from John 4: 46-54.
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