In the Gospel of John, we can read a story about a family in crisis:
“There was a certain royal official whose son was lying ill in Capernaum” (John 4:46)
It might be helpful to know that this was a family of distinction, maybe even royalty, but despite their seemingly prominent status, a spirit of death hung over the home. And, as the parents nursed their dying son, there were probably other family members in the home, aunts and uncles, grandparents, or maybe other children, and they were all voicing their concerns and wringing their hands together. Sure, this is all conjecture on my part, because all we are told is that at the end of the story, the whole household believed in Jesus, including the servants (4:53).
Someone in the family knew who Jesus was and heard about his miraculous power. Somehow they learned that Christ was in Cana, about twenty-five miles away. In desperation, the father took it upon himself to get through to the Lord. Scripture tells us, “When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and had arrived in Galilee, he anxiously [or earnestly] went off to see him . . .” (4:47).
In other words, This nobleman didn’t waste any time, he was determined to get to Jesus. The Bible says he “begged him to come down and heal his son, who was by this time at the point of death” (4:47). What a marvelous picture of intercession. This man set everything aside to seek the Lord to provide a word.
Christ looked at him and said, “Will you never believe unless you see signs and wonders?” (4:48). What was Jesus saying? Was he chastising the man? No, I don’t think so. He was telling the nobleman that a miraculous deliverance wasn’t his most important need. Instead, the number-one issue was the man’s faith. Think about it: Christ could have gone into that family’s house, laid hands on the dying son and healed him. Yet all that this family would have known of Jesus was that he worked miracles.
Christ wanted more for this man and his family. He wanted them to believe he was God in the flesh. So he said to the nobleman, in essence, “Do you believe it’s God you’re beseeching for this need? Do you believe I am the Christ, the Savior of the world?” The nobleman replied, “Sir, please come down before my boy dies!” (4:49). At that point, Jesus must have seen faith in this man. It was as if Jesus said, “He believes I’m God in the flesh.” Because next, it says, “Jesus answered him, ‘Go in peace; your son will live!’ And the man put his trust in what Jesus said and started home.’” (4:50).
Look, there often comes a time when certain life’s circumstance are beyond human hope. There is no counsel, no doctor, no medicine or anything else that can help. The situation has become impossible. It requires a miracle, or else it . . . well, or else . . .
These are the times where the only hope left is for someone to get to Jesus. It doesn’t matter who it is, a father, mother, a child, a friend, a brother or sister. Anybody who is able to take the responsibility to get hold of Jesus. And they have to be determined, “I’m not leaving until I hear from the Lord. He has to tell me, ‘It’s done. Now go your way.’ before I leave”
Take a minute and determine where you are in this story. Are you the “father” who is desperate to get to Jesus, or are you the “son” who needs an answer from Jesus? I won’t add anything else to the commentary. I want you to discover for yourself how this Word applies personally to you. Because in any situation or position you find yourself . . . your Redeemer is also your Deliverer.
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