“Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe/Go; your son will live.”
Jesus seems a bit put out or maybe a bit miffed at first in this lesson. I mean, the dad asks for something quite reasonable – the healing of a sick child isn’t something bizarre to ask for, after all. Yet Jesus gives this stark response: “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” That’s a rather harsh and blunt statement. Dismissive. But then, Jesus looks at the man and says, “Go; your son will live.” And there is of course, much rejoicing.
Don’t let the “miracle” distract you. John calls this a sign for a reason – a sign points to who Jesus is. And the fact is this. The reason Jesus came wasn’t just to heal that boy back on that day or to answer any specific prayer we might have about the health of our loved ones today. He came to die and rise, to win forgiveness and salvation and eternal life – not just a few better years in this world here.
Doesn’t mean that we don’t pray for health for our family and friends, for ourselves. My Grandmother was sick last month, and I prayed for her. And she died. And she was baptized. Go, your grandma will live, because Christ Jesus has died and risen for her. That’s the point, that’s what we are to believe – the miracles and signs are all just spelling out who Jesus is so that we see His death and resurrection for what it is – the victory over sin and death for all eternity for us.
And this is the promise Christ Jesus has made to you in your baptism. Go, you will live. You will rise with Christ. It doesn’t matter what this world throws at you, the hardships and struggles you see. They will be real and big, but Christ Jesus, the LORD of Life, is with you and for you, and you will live eternally. Nothing you face can change that fact.