46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

I find myself wondering why John has such an infatuation with the town of Cana. He goes to great lengths to tell these two miracles that happened in that town. Not that they aren’t amazing miracles, but I’m sure he could have told dozens and dozens of other miraculous things Jesus did, so why the focus on Cana? Perhaps the location is mere coincidence and John just wanted to point out that Jesus could heal people from a distance…I’m not quite sure. Perhaps John is using Cana as a literary device with which to structure this part of his story (although this is the last reference to Cana until the end of the book (21:2) when the disciples are mentioned along with where they are from, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee).

I don’t have an answer to that and am not in the mood to do much research concerning it – not that it matters a whole lot for this discussion since our question is really about where we see the gospel in this passage! I only underlined 2 things in this verse – “your son will live.” The reason I underlined these statements is because John repeated them. Why does he repeat this statement?

I think the main reason he did so was to emphasize the fact that Jesus is the source of life. Stop for a second and think about the faith that this dude just exhibited. Not only was he a Roman – an enemy of the Jews – but his son was dying. He merely heard Jesus say “Go; your son will live” and he walked away – he believed Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I would have at least wanted some reassurance. What if whatever hocus pocus Jesus did doesn’t work when I get home? What am I to do then? I may never be able to find this guy again. It’s amazing that this guy was able to believe Jesus and walk away.

Even more importantly is where we see the gospel in this passage. We see the gospel in the fact that God sent his son to die so that this guy’s son might have life. Isn’t that amazing? Maybe that is ultimately why this phrase “your son will live” is repeated here. Because on the one hand Jesus, the true son, will not live. Yet, at the same time, he will live as he is raised from the dead to be the first fruits of those who believe – just like this man and his whole household.

See the beauty of this story is in the fact that this man and his whole household (this includes his son who was on his deathbed) believed and therefore were united to Christ so that they might never die. Because the Son shall live – they too shall live! Perhaps the reason John goes to such great lengths to point out the location – Cana – of this miracle is because of the great foreshadow wrapped up in the two signs done there. Water into wine signifies Jesus’ death – he will pour forth wine; and “your son shall live” foreshadows his resurrection.

Death and resurrection – you can’t have resurrection without overcoming death and you can’t have resurrection without dying. It’s really only in the face of death that we can really exhibit the kind of faith that this man exhibited here. It’s only when everything you hold dear is on the line that you are forced to believe that the Son lives.