Daily Reflection
March 27th, 2006

Tamora Whitney

English Department
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Isaiah 65:17-21
Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b
John 4:43-54

“A prophet has no honor in his native place.”

I think it’s hard for your own family and friends to see something special in you. It’s just too familiar. How can you believe the baby whose diapers you changed, the toddler you babysat, the bratty child could actually have an amazing talent. Jesus’ fame was spreading, but the people in his own town – those who knew his folks, who saw him grow up, found it hard to believe that he was God, right there among them. It would seem odd. I find it a little hard to believe that the boy who lived just up the street from me, the rotten little fellow I used to babysit, is now a state senator. I know what he was like at seven, and it kind of scares me! The people who saw Jesus grow up, who knew him as the carpenter’s son, would find it hard to believe that he was something really special. They needed proof; they needed signs and wonders.

So he gave them signs and wonders. The people of Galilee welcomed him because they were there and had seen him turn the water to wine at the wedding in Cana. Because people had heard of the miracles, a royal official asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus rebukes him for not having faith and wanting signs. It sounded to me like the man did have faith, and that’s why he was asking Jesus. Anyway, Jesus tells him to go on, that the boy will be fine. And the man does believe – without any sign, just Jesus’ word that the child will live. And it turns out to be true. The man meets his servants coming to tell him that the boy will be fine, and in fact started to get better, it turns out, right when Jesus said the words. And because of that the man and his whole household believed in Jesus-- because of that sign. So here we are again back at the proof.

The miracles seem to be a vicious circle. Jesus seems to want people to believe on faith alone without signs and proofs, but he needs the signs and wonders as a starting point at least to get their attention. How can he just say to the people who watched him grow up, hey I’m God. They know too much about him—where he grew up, who he played with as a child. How could they just take his word? They especially needed the signs. As people heard about the signs they would be more likely to believe on sight, but there has to be some starting point. Without signs and wonders, how would we know where to start? But after we know where to start, we need to be like the officer and be ready to believe.

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