I recently shared this meditation with our church staff and I felt I wanted to share it with you – my church family. Basically, I want you to think with me, about the relationship between our faith and God’s response.
I have a number of ‘Life verses’ that the Holy Spirit has engraved on my heart. One such verse is Hebrews 11:6 – “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”
· Do you genuinely believe God exists?
· Do you seek Him for who He is or just for what you want from Him?
This meditation is going to focus primarily on the Gospel of John. He is referred to as the disciple whom Jesus loved. I’m sure that Jesus loved each of His disciples. But the scriptures indicate that He may have had a closer relationship with John than some of the others. I’m sure we feel more bonded to some people than others.
I think it is interesting that of all the miracles Jesus accomplished, John only lists 7:
1. Jesus turned water into wine. (John 2:1-11)
2. He healed the nobleman’s son. (John 4:43-54)
3. He healed the sick man at Bethesda, who had been sick for 38 years. (John 5:1-5)
4. He fed more than 5,000 men, plus women & children. (John 6:5- 13)
5. He walked on water. (John 6:16-21)
6. He healed a man who was blind from birth. (John 9:1-7)
7. He raised His friend Lazarus from the dead. (John 11:1-44)
In John 21:25 we read, “Jesus did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.” In John 20:30-31 we read – “The disciples saw Jesus do many other signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing in Him you will have life by the power of His name.”
Note: John used the word ‘SIGNS’ with regard to miracles. ‘SIGNS’ are very important to us.
· SIGNS – show the way. They point us in a particular direction.
· They motivate us to go from where we are to where we need to be – or in this case where God wants us to be.”
John says these signs were given to us so that we would Believe Jesus is the Expected Messiah. The SIGNS that John recorded had that purpose in mind.
In this meditation I want us to look at the miraculous healing of the nobleman’s son as recorded in John 4:43-54. There are three specific lessons that I want to share with you from that healing. Jesus went to Cana of Galilee where He performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. A pretty important government official came from Capernaum (about 17 miles) to see Jesus and have Him come and heal his son who was at the point of death.
In John 4:4-7 we read that the nobleman “implored Jesus (begged) to come and heal his son. Jesus said to the man,” Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” (vs. 48). The nobleman replied, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way, your son lives.” Now we see the faith of the man kick in – “So the man believed the word (promise) that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.” (Vs. 50). He trusted that what Jesus told him was the truth, and he headed home. I’m guessing he had heard a lot about Jesus and that’s what prompted him to come and seek help. He believed the word/promise Jesus gave and headed for home. On the way, he met some of his servants who greeted him with the good news – “Your son lives!” (vs 51). He wanted to know exactly the hour when his son started to improve. They responded. “Yesterday at the 7th hour the fever left him.” The father knew it was at that exact time that Jesus said, “Go your way, your son lives.” Then in vs. 53, we read, “And he himself believed and his whole household.” I take this to mean that all of them embraced Jesus. Distance was not a deterrent to the healing ministry of Jesus. Isn’t that good news!
Now, let me share with you several specific lessons that I think we can glean from this miracle:
1. When we believe (trust) God, our faith allows Him to operate in any way He chooses.
· We are so prone to want to program God.
– “Lord, this is what I want you to do.”
– “Lord, this is how I think you could do it.”
– “Lord, this is when It would best fit into my plans.”
Folks, faith trusts God, and it lets Him decide the best way to respond to our requests. In Matthew 13:58 we read how Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth. “And so, He did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.”
2. Here is a second lesson or principle – Faith always acts first or before God’s response. Remember Hebrews 11:6 –
· Faith believes that God exists.
· Faith believes that God rewards those who diligently seek Him.
We are prone to take the approach – Lord show me one of your works and I will believe. But Jesus says, “No, you trust me first, then you will see what I can do.”
3. The last lesson I propose is that faith accepts the fact that God is at work even before we can see what He is doing. “Jesus said – ‘Go home, your son lives.’” The man headed for home and of course learned that his son started to recover at the very time Jesus said, “Your son lives.”
The scary thing is that we can limit what God wants to do. Psalm 78, is a history of the children of Israel and God dealing with them over an extended period of time. Again, and again they disobeyed, worshipped idols, got involved with foreign people. You should read the entire Psalm because you will see God discipline them – they repent – then go right back into their sinful ways. In verse 41 we read,” Yes, again and again, they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul admonishes us in Ephesians 4:30, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit.” In 1 Thess. 5:19 he says, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.”
Folks – faith (trusting God) pleases God. Obedience pleases God and GOD WORKS IN OUR BEHALF.
Have a great life,