TWENTIETH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST THE GOSPEL JOHN 4.V.46-53. TUESDAY MEDITATION: A PLAINE PATH-WAY TO HEAVEN THOMAS HILL 1634
GOSPEL (St. John 4:46-53)
He came again therefore into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain ruler, whose son was sick at Capharnaum. He having heard that Jesus was come from Judea into Galilee, sent to him and prayed him to come down and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him: "Unless you see signs and wonders, you believe not." The ruler saith to him: Lord, come down before that my son die. Jesus saith to him: "Go thy way. Thy son liveth." The man believed the word which Jesus said to him and went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him: and they brought word, saying, that his son lived. He asked therefore of them the hour wherein he grew better. And they said to him: "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him." The father therefore knew that it was at the same hour that Jesus said to him: "Thy son liveth." And himself believed, and his whole house.TUESDAY MEDITATION
Though this king came to Christ for the corporal cure of his sonne, yet God drew him to Christ by that chaine, for the spiritual cure of his own soul, and of diuers others, the principal intention of Christ in all his actions, and should be so in ours.
This kings disease was incredulity in Christ that he was the sonne of God, that he was God and man, that he was the Messias and Sauiour of the world, who was sent by God the Father to do that Office here on earth, according the ancient prophecies thereof.
This was his disease, as appeareth in that he did not believe he could cure his sonne, being absent, by his only word or will, as that good Centurion in the Gospel did for his servant, and that made him so importunate to haue Christ go to his sonne; and after Christ said unto him, Thy Son liveth , his Servants meeting him upon the way, and telling him; his sonne was recovered, he demanded at what hour he recovered, and finding it was just when Christ said unto him, Thy ſonne liveth, he thereupon believed, he and his whole household; which otherwise if he had not found the words of Christ, and the instant of his recovery to jump together, it is like he would not have believed, but persuaded himself it had been by force of Physicke, or ſome other chance; so sick and infirme was this King in his faith , towards Christ, and I would to God it were not the disease of these times more then heretofore, to trust more to corporal Phisicke, then to the goodness and providence of God ; and when we have recovered our health, to attribute it more to Physicke then we should.
Likewiſe this King having, no question, tried all corporal phyſicke, & other means,and his ſonne being ready to die, more for curiosity then any hope or belief he had in Christ, and to quiet his mind, which yet out of overmuch love to his Sonne would not have been quiet if he had not removed (as the Proverb saith) every stone and left no means unattempted, came to Christ at last when there was no other hope .
This was the sickness and infirmity of this king both in his faith to Christ, & ouermuch loue to his ſonne, or rather self love, because his sonne, and he were one; and I would to God it were not in this second point the disease likewise of the world in these our days more then heretofore, to trust more to corporal Physicke then to spiritual; to come to ſpirituall at laſt when there is no hope of corporal, to go to Phyſicke for every little trifle, not conſidering that God in- flićteth corporall ſicknes upon vs for our ſpirituall health, and that, if it be but a moderate fickenes, or paine, we may do well to ſuſtaine it, rather then to ſeeke remedy by all manner of curious, exquisite and sumptuous meanes, considering the Scripture ſend ºth vs to the Phi- ſtrian , for neceſſity, and then doth not command vs neither, but rather aduiſeth vs, conſide- ring alſo that many holy peo- le haue deſired a moderate ſic- enes or diſeaſe, and having it haue not ſought ren.cdie for it, or at leaſt by very triuiall mea- ines; as alſo for that we being loath to take up a cross of our own accord for penance or mortification, as we are more." then counſailed to do by Chriſt Luc. 2: himſelfe in theſe words, He vº. that taketh not up his cross & followeth me, cannot be my diſciple; we should be the more willing to embrace it, being imposed upon us by Almighty God.
But howsoever infirm or sick this King was, being indeed as sick in mind, as his sonne was in body, Christ tendered his cure more then his sonnes; and this rebuke and refusal to go evnto him, though it might ſet me a repulſe for his proud & imperious manner of coming to him , & little confidence in him, and immoderate loue to his ſonne, and the like: yet Chriſt intended it for the cure of his ſoule; for the cure of his ſonne, the inſtant of his cure, which was iust when he said, thy sonne limeth, the curing him being abſent without anything but his word; all these things concurred to the cure and conuerſion of the King unto the faith of Christ, which otherwise, if he had gone & cured his sonne being present, peradventure he would have thought the cure not divine but human, and so not have been converted to the faith of Christ neuer the more.
Moreo. uer being converted, he might make this use of Christ his rebuking him, & refuſing to go to his Sonne, namely to take it as a worthy repulſe for his proud and Ecremptory speaking unto him, and learn more humility thereby, and ſo n.ake the paſſage of this matter, taking it all together, like a two-edged Sword , as the Scripture termeth the words of God, that, as that cutteth on both ſydes, to doth this cure.
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