An Example of Faith
AN EXAMPLE OF FAITH
Before we get into our study of the passage that was read I want to once again remind you why John wrote his gospel; and why this account of another miracle is recorded here in this chapter.
- Look what John says in John 20:30-31.
Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
- The primary purpose for Jesus performing miracles was not to make anyone think they too could perform miracles; or to make anyone think that the reason they are still sick is because Jesus doesn’t care about them.
- The primary purpose for the miracles performed by Jesus was to get “you and I to believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God; and that we might have “life in His name.”
With that in mind let’s look at John 4:46-54.
As this passage begins, John tells us that Jesus has come again to Cana of Galilee, the place where He performed His very first miracle; John 2.
And while Jesus is there a very interesting man comes from Capernaum to see Him.
- 46 tells us that this man was a Royal Official…a Royal Officer….one who serves the king.
And that makes this man even more interesting because the king over Galilee at this time is Herod Antipas.
- So this man was probably one of Herod Antipas’ officials.
And that make this man’s trip of 20 miles to find Jesus all the more interesting and impressive because none of the Herods have ever liked Jesus…in fact, they have openly opposed Him.
- And Herod wouldn’t like for one so high in his court to travel this far and go to all this effort to find one who claimed to be a King himself.
- Coming to Jesus could be grounds for dismissal…or imprisonment…or worse!
But this man was willing to run these risks and go to all this trouble…to find Jesus.
Now, let me make this point before we go on.
- This man does not allow his high position, his status; keep him from coming to Jesus.
- He did not wrap himself in pride nor did he let what others might say or think keep him from Jesus.
- Instead, he saw a desperate need; he humbled himself, and made every effort to come to Christ.
- And he didn’t demand anything from Christ.
- He served the king and yet in Christ he recognized someone higher than the king!
Some people, perhaps someone here this morning, would be embarrassed if their friends or family knew that they came to Christ because “real men don’t need Christ”; “religion is for women”; “I would be admitting weakness if I came to Christ.”
- And for some, they will only come to Christ if Christ does what they want Him too.
Well, the man in this account was a “royal official”; he was the king’s man and his only hope was to come to Christ and that is true for each and every one of us.
- And people need to realize that He is King and not them.
- Don’t let pride and arrogance deprive you of all the blessings that can be yours in Christ.
So, this Royal Official comes to Jesus and the passage says that he “was requesting” Jesus to come…
- And the tense of the verb here is “continuous action”…and it conveys the thought of
- In other words, “he pressed his plea”….or “he begs.”
So this father who is a Royal Official travels this 20 miles…knowing what he is doing is not going to be pleasing to the king…and he persistently pleads with Jesus to come help him.
- And the reason he wants Jesus to come is because his son is sick and “he doesn’t want his son to die.”
And before I go on let me say this…and I want to say this to all of our young people.
- You learn this same thing about your parents.
- Your parents don’t bring Jesus to you…they don’t teach you about Jesus…to make you look weird in the eyes of your friends.
- They don’t do it with the idea of being restrictive or mean.
- They don’t bring Jesus to you to bore you because, let me assure you, there is nothing boring about Jesus.
This dad loved his son and he wanted to bring Jesus to his son so his son wouldn’t die physically…
- And your parents are the same…with the exception that your parents want to bring Jesus into your lives because they don’t want you to die spiritually, something that is much worse than dying physically.
And I know how it is…
- When we were kids my mom would, on occasion, get us up out of bed on Sundays…and we had to get cleaned up…and put on our Sunday clothes…clothes that felt funny and that you couldn’t play in or get dirty.
- And we had to go to church while other kids were at the park playing football.
- But we had to go to church and listen to a guy that I thought was boring.
- And we went to Bible classes that were kind of fun except I didn’t understand what they were talking about and I never knew any of the answers.
And the next time when mom came in and said, “Get up and get ready for church” we’d moan and groan…and we’d beg, “Do we have to?”
- And I didn’t understand why mom made us go to church…surely she wanted to bore us to death.
But let me tell you…my mom was just like your parents…and your parents are just like this dad…and when they bring Jesus into your life they do it because they love you…and because they know that Jesus can save…and they don’t want you to suffer the consequences of sin and die spiritually.
This dad showed a lot of love for his son in doing what he did and trying to bring Jesus to him.
- Well, your parents are doing the same.
- The greatest love they can demonstrate to you is to bring Jesus into your life.
Let’s go on.
This father pleads with Jesus “to come down and heal his son.”
- And upon this man’s request, Jesus seems to give a somewhat harsh answer.
- Look at verse 48. Jesus says: “Unless you people see signs and wonders you simply will not believe.”
This seems kind of uncaring.
- But the “you” in this statement is plural and it indicates that Jesus is speaking to a group of people and not specifically to this nobleman.
You see, some people followed Jesus not because they were devoted to Him or loved Him.
- But they followed Him simply because they loved the sensational.
- They wanted to see another miracle…a trick.
- And Jesus didn’t come to do tricks…or to entertain the people.
- He came to save those who are lost.
- And so maybe out of frustration Jesus speaks a little harshly here.
And this nobleman hears these words and still he is persistent.
- And again he says, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
- He is not wanting to see a trick or to be entertained.
- This father has trouble back home…and he knows the only way to solve his trouble back home is to have Jesus come along with him to his house.
- At this point it doesn’t matter about the job he has…
- It doesn’t matter what the king might think.
- What he needs is for Jesus to come home with him and help him solve the problem at home.
How I wish people everywhere had that attitude today.
- Because so many of us and so many around us have major problems at home.
- And some of those problems at home are of such a nature that the only way that they will ever get solved is if the people involved bring Jesus home with them.
This dad asks Jesus to “come down with me before my son dies.”
- And Jesus says to the father, “Go your way, your son lives.”
And look what the dad does. The verse says, “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he started off.”
- Do you know how hard that must have been for him?
- This is really not what this dad wanted.
- In his mind he had to bring Jesus with him.
- In his thinking it was necessary for Jesus to go to his house.
- And what Jesus said here didn’t agree with his thinking or with what he wanted to do.
But John says, “He started off.”
- Even though it wasn’t what he had in mind, Jesus’ word was enough.
- No arguing…no discussion…no protests.
- Jesus told him to go…that was good enough…and he went.
It’s so different than what we see today.
- It seems that today people want to dispute everything Jesus says.
- We want to argue, deny, reject and excuse so much of what He taught simply because it doesn’t agree with what we have in mind or what we intend.
- If it hurts us, hinders us, or convicts us, we want to change it.
- For this man…Jesus’ word was good enough…Jesus spoke and the man went.
Jesus tells this man to “Go his way”….and now look at verse 51.
“And as he was now going down, his slave met him saying that his son was living. So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, “Yesterday at the 7th hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “You son lives,” and he himself believed, and his whole household.
- I’ve said it before and I will say it again, “if you want your difficult times and your sad stories to have a happy ending be sure that Jesus is involved.”
Now, look at vs. 53 again: So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”; and he himself believed, and his whole household.
- Do you remember why Jesus performed miracles? (John 20:30-31)
This father, this Royal Official and his whole household believed; do you?
- If you are a faithful, obedient follower of Christ, be steadfast; no matter what you may encounter; no matter what might happen; finish the course, fight the good fight and keep the faith.
And for others, this miracles account is here to persuade you to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and in Him you can have eternal life.
- But understand, just like this Royal Official, believing involves being obedient to what Christ says even if it does not agree with what you might want to hear.
- Will you be obedient to Christ, confess Him as Lord, repent of a life of sin, be baptized into Him for the forgiveness of your sins; and be faithful to Him even unto death?
Let’s close with John 20:30-31: Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2022