Author: Alison Mitchell
Author Website: https://www.thegoodbook.com/authors/alison-mitchell
Illustrator: Catalina Echeverri
Publisher: The Good Book for Children
Word Count: 700
This story is perfect for ages: 2-4, 4-6, 6+
Straight from Aunty LuLav
This is a lovely retelling of the healing of a Nobleman’s son. John 4:46-54
Alison Mitchell draws us into this father’s journey of faith, from the creativity of the title onward. Using playful repetition in the text, she builds excitement, keeping the story rhythmically moving forward to the climax and the happy resolution.
The application becomes crystal clear – when it concerns JESUS –
WE CAN TRUST HIS WORDS!
Mitchell brings the dilemma of the Nobleman’s family to life. She expands on the worry and love of the father for his sick son. She carries us along on his difficult journey to get to Jesus.
When he finally reaches Cana, he bows to Jesus to ask his favor. He fully expects Jesus will travel back with him and touch his sick son to make him well. Mitchell exposes the man’s own assumptions that Jesus would have to DO something to bring healing.
Jesus surprises the man. He simply speaks these words,
“Go! Your son will live!”
He spoke those words at 1 pm.
The man is shocked at first. We see him grappling with the decision to trust or not to trust. BUT he chooses to BELIEVE THE WORDS OF JESUS and return home.
His faith builds as he goes. We see him walking, then running, saying the words of Jesus over and over to himself, literally walking in faith. As he nears home, he is greeted by his servants with good news – his son is well.
When the daddy finally reaches his family, he joyfully proclaims the very words of Jesus over his beloved son!
The love of the father, the love of Jesus, the living faith, the 1 o’clock miracle, trusting the Word, the joy of the family, the joy of the people, the healing, the hills, the diminishing burden, all of these, bring this miracle to life, inspiring trust and faith in the readers.
We can trust the Words of Jesus!
Scriptural Underpinnings & Positive Themes
LOVE & HOPE
The resolute love of the father for his son is the central motivation of this story. His difficult journey and determination demonstrate his hope that maybe Jesus could save his son.
The father’s persistence reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Like this father, she had to find strength to push through obstacles to get to Jesus. Luke 8
As Believers, we hope and wait for what we can not see. Romans 8:24-25
When we hope for what we do not see, we have to step out in faith, until we actually believe that our hope is a reality. Hebrews 11:1
As he travels to see Jesus, carrying his heavy burden, the faith of the father builds with expectation. But Jesus does not come and touch and heal the boy as the father had imagined. Jesus only speaks the word.
In that moment the father struggles. Are the Words of Jesus alone, strong enough?
He chooses to believe the words of Jesus, instead of disappointment or doubt. It is a triumph for all of us. We all believe with him as he travels back home to see his son. Matthew 21:21, John 11.
DIVINITY OF JESUS
Only God could do the thing which Jesus did. This is emphasized in the text. The text references other miracles, as we see the Nobleman listening to the news about Jesus. The water into wine at the wedding in Cana – John 2, The healing of a cripple Matthew 11, 15, 21, John 5, the healing of a blind man – John 9.
WHY 1 O’CLOCK?
Here is the amazing element of this story – it was at the precise moment, when Jesus proclaimed the healing of the son, that the miracle took place. It didn’t happen because the man built his faith on the way back home; it wasn’t because he spoke the Words over his son when he arrived; it wasn’t gradual, it was immediate. The Words of Jesus were true in real time!
I think my favorite part of this book is the illustrations of Catlina Echeverri! They are lively, expressive and playful. She not only captures the movement of the long journey; she captures the movement of the spiritual journey as well.
Casting our Burdens on Jesus – As the Nobleman leaves home to travel and find Jesus, he packs his bag. Echeverri represents it as a HUGE load, almost twice his size. He starts on his long journey from Capernaum to Cana – all uphill, carrying this great burden.
When he finally reaches Jesus, he lays his great burden on the ground, bows at Jesus’ feet and presents his request. It’s at this point, the illustration changes. As the father makes the decision of faith, to believe Jesus’ words, he takes up his bag and starts on his journey back home.
This time, as he walks, he builds his faith repeating the words Jesus spoke. As he believes, we see his big burden shrink down to the size of a backpack! It’s a beautiful visual of the spiritual truth of casting our burdens on Jesus. They shrink as we believe He is able and willing, to help us. 1 Peter 5:6-7, Matthew 11:28-30, Matthew 8:1-3
The characters in this story are reflective of ancient Jews, Middle Easterners and Roman/Greek nobles in appearance and dress.
Each Children’s Book, published by The Good Book for Children, includes a brief explanation of the scriptures addressed in each story. So helpful for the one reading or teaching from the Book!
The End of the Matter5/5 waves
So wave your Lulavs uphill and down,
walking and running just to see Jesus!
This is an AUNTY LULAV FAVORITE!