Monday in the Fourth Week of Lent

by Phil Smith

This account from John has two interesting elements.

First, Jesus states “a prophet hath no honor in his own country.”

I interpret this along the same lines of a Portuguese saying I heard a few times when I was doing business in Portugal and the Portuguese-speaking world; loosely translated, “Home grown saints don’t perform miracles.” I imagine Jesus realized the bar was pretty high when he was returning to Galilee (his “hometown”) in this section, since he had recently turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee.

A variation on this in our world: an international search firm finds a new executive to run your company, and that person is presented as the perfect candidate capable of “walking on water,” far superior to anyone currently at the firm. We all know that’s not always the case!

The second item that jumped out at me was the healing of the nobleman’s son. This was not an in-person laying on of hands; Jesus just told the father his son would live. The poor man had to return home, not sure what to expect. In fact, it was the moment when Jesus told the father the good news that the fever subsided. Miracles from a distance! Maybe not as dramatic as the water being turned into wine for all to see, but I imagine word traveled far and pretty quickly. I’m sure many will say the father should have had faith in Jesus, but I believe there are many like Thomas who need something more tangible.