In John 4:46-51, Jesus was back in Cana, the same place where He had turned water to wine. He was approached by an official whose child was terminally ill. The official had heard Jesus was in town and went to Him. He asked Jesus to go with him to his home to heal the child and believed that Jesus would do it.
As we looked at this passage in Day 5 of the I Am study, I was struck that the official went looking for Jesus. What was Jesus’ reputation in Cana after performing the first sign? Even though Jesus had tried to maintain a low profile at the wedding, was it possible that word had gotten around of what he had done? How far had the word traveled from the other the places that Jesus had been (which are recorded in the other gospels)? I am pretty sure that the expression “word travels fast” applies to humankind past, present, and future. What a poignant reminder not only of the reaches of Christ’s influence, but also of the importance of having a good reputation so that people do not hesitate to call on you!
Back to the story–Jesus told the official to go home and that his son would live. The rest of the story is as miraculous as we would expect. The official returns home to learn that the very hour in which Jesus spoke life over his son, the child was healed. His belief was manifested in a way he would remember every time he heard his son laugh or watched him run. What a beautiful gift by our Father to a father.
But between the moment of the official approaching Jesus and Jesus sending him home, the devotional points out there is something we should not miss. Jesus first spoke after the official’s request, by saying, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe” (John 4:48). Here, the study indicates, the message was “you” in the plural in Greek, or as we say in the South, y’all. Jesus’ message was for those in the crowd and those of us watching at home through the lens of history.
The devotional authors end the lesson with the question: Was He speaking to you?
I am sure He was, and I wonder how many times miraculous things have happened in my life or in the lives of people around me in part because Jesus said, “unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” I imagine it has happened more than once.
I do not imagine however that Jesus has performed these miracles begrudgingly or with exasperation. These moments of demonstration are sometimes an invitation and sometimes an encouragement to a deeper faith. I believe the Lord knows me—knows us. God understands the limits of our human understanding. Faith after all is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1). In a stimulating, physical, visual world, sometimes it is hard to remain certain of what is invisible. Thank God that by His grace and His Spirit we can continue to work out and exercise our faith.
I want to be like the official and run Jesus down–doing everything I can to get in His presence and look to Him for the many things that only He can provide. I know my job as a child of God is straightforward. My responsibility is to have faith—to believe. And sometimes, when life gets rough, I am grateful that the Almighty God of the universe pursues me so compassionately that from time to time He will provide an extra shot of belief through His signs and wonders.
Was God speaking to you in this passage (John 4:46-51)? Do you ever need a faith-boost straight from Him. How are you like the official in your belief?