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§ 127. Christ heals the Nobleman’s Son.—Chooses Capernaum for his Abode.—Healing of Peter’s Wife’s Mother.

ON his arrival in Galilee Jesus went again to Cana. (John, iv., 46.) While there, there came to him a man belonging to the court 186(βασιλικὸς) of Herod Antipas, and begged him to go down to Capernaum and cure his son, who was dangerously ill. Distress drove this man to Christ; although he might (if he had chosen), perhaps, have received Divine impressions before. He probably was, at first, among the number of those who verified the proverb in regard to Christ, “a prophet is without honour in his own country.” The Samaritans believed, because of their inward wants, and of the inward power of Divinity; the faith of the Galileans had to be roused by visible miracles and material blessings. To this must we refer the words of reproof uttered by Christ before he granted the man’s prayer: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”306306   See p. 138.

Having, by the miracle wrought in this case, produced a new and favourable impression upon the public mind at Capernaum, he chose that place as the seat of his ministry. Here he taught in the synagogue, and healed the sick. It happened on a certain Sabbath, that when he left the synagogue he went, attended by his disciples, to the house in which Peter lived, with his mother-in-law, who lay ill at the time of a fever.307307   Luke, iv., 38; Matt., viii., 14; Mark, i., 29. Jesus healed her, at once and fully, so that she was able to attend to her household duties and detain her guests for the Sabbath-day’s dinner.308308   Joseph., De Vita Sua., § 54: “ἕκτη ὥρα, καθ᾽ ἧν τοῖς σάββασιν ἀριστοποῖεισθαι νόμιμόν ἐστιν ἡμῖν. As Christ spent the day in the house (the rumour having probably been spread that he would soon leave the town), sick persons were brought in from all sides; not, however, until after sunset, to avoid breaking the law of the Sabbath. On the next day the people strove to prevent his departure, but he told them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent.”

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