Taking Jesus at His Word

John 4: 43-54
Is 65: 17-21 / Ps 30: 2, 4-6, 11-13

“Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”
(John 4: 48)

Dear God we come to You to heal
And protect all of our children;
That they too will follow Your will,
And join our Lord Jesus’ brethren.

After two days Jesus left for Galilee. When He arrived, the Galileans welcomed Him. They had seen all that He had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there. Once more He visited Cana in Galilee, where He had turned the water into wine. There was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to Him and begged Him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at His word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.” Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed. This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee. (John 4: 43-54)

Reflection

Why did Jesus say, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe”? Evidently, it was meant to rebuke the Jews (“you people”) who were always seeking miraculous signs. But it was also meant to draw out the official’s faith in our Lord’s power to heal his son. And sure enough, when the man said, “Sir, come down before my child dies,” Jesus assured him that his son would live. We read that, “The man took Jesus at His word and departed.” And when they learned about the exact time his son recovered from his illness, all his household were converted.

God wants us to show our card first before He reveals His own. He is pleased whenever we express our firm belief that He is listening to our prayer when we seek His help for even the most mundane of our concerns. We tendered a dinner party one evening for our brotherhood’s governance team, when rain clouds threatened to spoil the evening. I stepped outside, looked up to heaven and earnestly prayed, “Lord, just this once, please, for my birthday, don’t let it rain.” There was hardly any doubt in my mind that God would answer my short prayer as the slightest of a drizzle sprinkled on me like a blessing, and then the wind blew the rainclouds away. With signs like this, how can one not believe in a loving, wonderful God?

God cultivates our faith in order to bring about our spiritual transformation. More than our physical ailments, He is concerned with the healing of our souls. As distance was of no consequence in the healing of the official’s son, so God is always near when we seek Him in our prayers. He only seems so distant to those with feeble faith. “Unless you see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe.” How true these words of Jesus are to many in our generation. And yet, all we have to do is take Jesus at His Word in Holy Scriptures. All of His and the Father’s promises are fulfilled in the holy Bible. All we need to do, fellow Christian, is to read it and believe.

We praise and thank You, loving Father for all the assurances that we receive from You in Your Word, the Holy Scriptures, and in all the wonders and blessings that You manifest in our lives. May we remain as faithful in our commitment to You. Amen.

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