Have you ever challenged someone with the words, “Prove it!,” if you were not convinced that person was speaking the truth?
Jesus knows our cynical hearts when He tells the Galileans and us, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” (John 4:48)
But in the two miracles in this section of scripture, Jesus is not as much interested in demonstrating His power over the natural world as He is in demonstrating the power in His words.
When the soldier’s son is healed, the miracle happens “at the hour” Jesus says the words, “Go, your son will live.” (John 4:49) For the cripple, it is the moment Jesus says, “Take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:11)
The miracles prove He is Almighty God, but they also help us see that Jesus’ very words are the source of life and healing—perhaps what Jesus wanted the disciples to understand earlier as the spiritual “food you do not know about.” (John 4:32).
Why the added emphasis on words? Because Jesus wants the Jews to know He is now the last word on how to be right with God, not the law of Moses or the Old Testament. The law had been so twisted and misunderstood that even the work of God Himself was now rendered Sabbath-breaking and unholy. (John 5:18)
Jesus is sent by God to give everyone a second chance—the only chance—to live rightly by knowing Him. “I am God,” Jesus says. “My words give life the way God’s words created the heavens and the earth.” Jesus now stands as the only hope for eternal life to a law-abiding Jewish people who have become the “living dead”.
“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me.” (John 5:39)