Seeing is believing; however, not seeing and still believing - is faith.
Where do you turn when you are in trouble? Do you look to your friends, your employer, your church? Who do you take your advice from for your business, your home, on which job to take, or wisdom in family matters? This week's lesson talks about the power of God’s word. Do we believe what He says? Do we treat it only as a crutch for when our plans don’t work? Or is His word health to our bones and bread for living?
46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.
We have to go back a couple of verses prior to our lesson to begin. Jesus had just left Samaria after speaking to the woman at the well. He told her everything about her life. His words convinced her there was something about him worth listening to. Her testimony brought two days' worth of Jesus witnessing to the glory of God in Samaria. Remember Samaria? It's a region filled with enemies of Israel. Yet people from that city recognized Him as the Anointed One, Christ the Savior of the World. Knowing He was next headed to Cana of Galilee, His hometown, He anticipates that they will not hear and believe him. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. John 4:44-45.
A nobleman, a man of authority, a man of rank and importance comes from Capernaum to Galilee. The trip is about 16.5 miles, and he goes to plead for Jesus to heal his son. His faith caused him to take action. His son’s illness was beyond any human power to heal.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.
Does Jesus scold him for asking Him to heal his son? No, but He does warn all of us. This man had nowhere else to turn, so he came to Jesus. He was looking for his problem to be solved, not to worship the Savior of the world in that moment. A lot of people come to Christ when they are in trouble, especially if they are out of other options. It is appropriate to come to Him when we are in need, but He, Christ himself, is our greatest need.
The nobleman states a fact that is true whether or not Jesus chose to heal his son for that season. His son was going to die, so would he, and so will you. Your greatest need is not financial, it's not emotional, it’s not help with a relationship, you are facing death and unless Christ is Lord of your life, you are facing eternity separated from Him.
Jesus’ first miracle took place in this very place, turning water into wine. The nobleman has enough faith to come to him and ask because obviously, Jesus had power. This miracle was no guarantee that those involved would recognize the Messiah, later in Christ’s ministry He speaks about those who come for just “the loaves and the fishes.” Some are satisfied with just physical healing. If so, how foolish would that be? I pray that someone will open their eyes today and allow them to see past the crisis of the day, to see what they should really be asking God for, more of himself operating in our lives.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.
He believed Jesus, in the next few verses we find that this miracle brought him to believe in Him as Savior. I’m glad it ended that way because he could have behaved like many who come to the church in crisis, when his crisis was resolved, he may have thought he had no further interest in Christ. We do know that Christ begins this encounter with a warning, “except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” I have seen miracles in my lifetime. God steps into situations and does beyond what we even know how to ask Him to do. I’ve seen healings, marriages restored, and financial miracles. I’ve seen God take men and women who were by all appearances beyond saving, and change them into the most powerful witnesses of His Grace and transforming power, and then I’ve watched them carelessly walk away. I praise God for the miracles, but those aren't the greatest things that Christ has done for us, and those moments of awe fade quickly from our thoughts, because life on earth continually challenges us, breaks us, and hurts us. The greatest thing that ever has happened is that God gave us permission to have a relationship with him through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. He has prepared an eternity for us, far beyond the troubles here, and invites us into His presence, not as servants, but through His kindness, He welcomes us as His own dear children. Don’t come to him with a problem, and then go your way, when you foolishly think you no longer need Him.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
Just for added confirmation, scripture tells us that when the nobleman inquired of when His son became well, it was exactly when Jesus had told him. John illustrates many times in his gospel, the qualities of Christ that prove that He is God. Distance is nothing to Him, He oversteps time. He is able to accomplish miracles with only the words of His mouth. The confirmation that God was able to heal a child miles away at the exact moment He spoke of it, was enough to cause the entire household to put their faith in Christ
54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
Jesus heals. He has all power. His word is truth. It takes faith to come to Him, but that faith is a gift He gives, and it is confirmed by his word. There is a far greater need than what we can see with our eyes, and Christ is able to meet that need.
Is there a parent anywhere in the world that hasn’t experienced a child coming to you asking continually for things they want, need, or just have to have? As parents, we know that a child’s sight is limited. They cannot see the bigger picture. Might I suggest as Christians, we need to be careful that we are not talking to the God of Heaven in this same selfish, small-minded, spoiled child way. And yet, when/if we do, God, the ultimate all-knowing parent, answers us according to His knowledge and grace. God answers to increase our faith, help us learn of Him, and to share His goodness. The Word heals our hearts, our minds, and most importantly our souls. The Word prepares us for heaven. It heals us physically, spiritually, when we are broken-hearted, afraid, miserable, or simply ready to change. Accept the Word of God. His love never ends. His mercy is full. His answers are faithful. He heals.
When I was a teenager, I loved Garth Brooks. One song that I and my Dad both enjoyed says, “Sometimes I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers." I have a lot of blessings to thank God for, He is a very good Father, but I have many unanswered prayers to thank Him for, as well. My desires would have destroyed me, had God in His wisdom not kept me from those things. He knows the seasons of our lives, He knows the future, and thankfully, He knows us. My greatest need is and will always be the presence of God in my life, regardless of whether or not things go as I plan, Christ is the Lord of my life.
Thank you for studying with us! God bless!