When Jesus arrived in Galilee, the locals welcomed Him back. One of their own had achieved fame in the big city. They saw the signs he performed at the temple in Jerusalem (John 2:23) and they were proud of Him.
It wasn't what Jesus said that stuck in their minds. It was what He did.
And now that He had come home, they hoped to see more awesome sights.
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. 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.
Many people just wanted to be amazed again, but some were in desperate need of a miracle. This king's servant from Capernaum was one such person.
He had heard the reports of the rabbi who miraculously provided wine at a wedding. And he had heard what Jesus did in Jerusalem – perhaps he was there and witnessed a sign or two himself. But his interest in Jesus was personal.
The man's son was gravely ill and about to die. All hope was rapidly fading. Unless Jesus came and did something miraculous, and soon, he would lose his beloved child.
But Jesus returned slowly from Jerusalem. He baptized at the Jordan for a while, then made His leisurely way north, stopping for a couple of days in Samaria.
When the official heard Jesus had finally arrived in Cana, he traveled the 16 miles to confront Him:
"Unless you come and do a miracle, I will lose my son."
But Jesus replied like He didn’t care:
"Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe."
The man thought, ‘Why is Jesus changing the subject? My son needs a miracle! Can’t He see I already believe He can heal my son, otherwise why would I be asking?"
Frustrated, he tried one more time:
"Sir, come down before my child dies!"
Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live."
Jesus gave the man a prophet’s answer, predicting that the child would live. As a prophet of God, the people should have taken Jesus at His word. But most dishonored Him (John 4:44) by ignoring His message, regardless of the number of signs they had already seen.
This man, however, believed – at least the part about his son living. As proof, he immediately turned around and went home.
His servants met him on the way with the good news: "Your child lives!" They had no idea how it happened. One moment the boy was sicker than a dog, the next he was in perfect health, doing things boys normally do.
So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives." …
- John 4:52-53 (WEB)
The man told his servants and his household exactly what Jesus had said. The miracle happened when He gave the prophecy. Jesus didn't come as he asked, but the child was healed anyway.
So he and his whole house came to realize Jesus is more than just a miracle worker – He's the Messiah!