Jesus headed to His home region of Galilee after spending two days with the people of Sychar, in the hated region of Samaria.
In an odd turn of phrase, we read Jesus went there (to Galilee,) while testifying, “a prophet has no honor in his own country.” (That hardly seems a reason to go there, does it?)
We are reminded one of the main points of Jesus’ ministry was irony. He was constantly confounding, even to His followers – and this remains a key tenet of Biblical Christianity to this day. Man should never really expect to fully understand God. There will always be irony present as an evidence of the presence of the Lord.
In a region in which Christ foretold He would expect and receive “no honor” He would heal the son of a “nobleman” who was at the point of death.
Galilee was a region overrun with Roman officials and soldiers. There were many Roman outposts distributed throughout the region, including a garrison stationed in Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth.
The “nobleman” spoken of here would have been a Roman official of some sort. A gentile. By the nature of his title, we can know he was a man who would receive honor.
How ironic the one who would receive honor must come to the One Who never would in desperation. The nobleman’s son was certainly going to die without immediate aid. We can assume everything had already been tried to affect his son’s healing, and all had failed.
This is one miracle, (the second of seven in John’s gospel,) which Jesus performed almost in spite of Himself. He declared, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
Jesus would have you believe by faith and not by sight. Compare the Galileans to the hated Samaritans Jesus had just visited. They believed when they heard His word.
Do you sense the irony in the comparison?