- Just before we reached Kefarnachum, a helmeted rider, a Roman captain, rode
up to us, sprang from his horse, saluted the rabbi in a military manner and
said: Rabbi, my son, my only son, is dying. Come, help him!
I am not a doctor, nor a magician.
Rabbi, I am a captain and have officers and soldiers under me. When I say to
one of them: Come! he comes, and when I say: Go! He goes.
I am not a captain and I have no soldiers.
You have a different power of command. Rabbi: a word from you and the
illness leaves my son.
Do you believe that, man?
To us he said: If only Yisrael had such faith!
To the captain he said: Because you have the strength to believe that I can
heal, you also have the strength to heal your son yourself. Do you believe
yourself capable of such faith?
If you say it is so, then it is so.
Ride home now. You son is healthy.
The captain saluted again, jumped on his horse and rode off.
We were completely confused. Speechless. I was afraid of what could happen
if the boy died meanwhile.
But Yeshua’s word: your son IS healthy! Did he really say that? Yes,
everyone heard it. There was no doubt. Not: he WILL BE healthy. He IS
I thought that the illness could have been at its high-point and turned
around, so to speak. A crisis, then recovery, very sudden, that happens.
Then Yeshua would be a clairvoyant. That also happens. That he heard the
unspoken, what was only thought, and in time and space saw what lay distant,
that we had often experienced. Why couldn’t it be the same now?
Again I thought: WHO are you, who in fact are you?
Behind me I heard an exchange of words: Yehuda and Jochanan.
Yehuda: Well, that’s something new, a healing at a distance, that is
impressive, it’s convincing, it can bring in hundreds of followers.
And Jochanan: You always think in numbers! You always have something to
count: coins, distances, people.
And you? You leave the numbers to me, it’s not worthy of you, but I’m good
enough for it. Someone has to dirty his hands counting money, someone has to
reckon how long the money will last and how far it is from here to there,
someone must keep his feet on the ground so the others can fly. And then
look down from above, right?
The argument would have continued if a cry hadn’t suddenly come from the
direction of the city, a cry of joy, that was soon clear, and through the
city’s gates a mob rushed out, led by the captain, on foot now and without a
helmet and without attention to military bearing he ran, he tripped, had to
be helped up, and he cried: My son lives! My son is healthy!
Frank Thomas Smith