Read: John 4:43-54
Consider: It must have been humbling for the royal official to make the effort to come to Jesus to ask for his help. He was probably a man who was used to others coming to him for advice or help. It is clear from today’s passage that he must have known about Jesus and the miracles he performed. We are told: 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 (John 4:47). Jesus’ response may seem quite harsh (4:48). Despite this the official was not put off, but repeated his request for Jesus’ help and we read: ‘Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live’ (4:50). Now comes the real test of faith for the official.
If this was you, what would you be thinking in these circumstances? Would you have been thinking that you would rather Jesus came and physically touched the boy? Or perhaps you may have thought that long-distance miracles don’t happen?
What we learn about the official is that he ‘… took Jesus at his word and departed’ (4:50). His trust was not misplaced, as on his journey home he learned from one of his servants that the boy was alive and well (4:51-53).
Let’s return to the response Jesus initially gave the official. He said: Unless you people see signs and wonders … you will never believe (4:48). What is your response to the claims Jesus made as he travelled around and taught the people? Are you like the official who was prepared to take Jesus at his word, or do you look for further evidence to convince you?
Perhaps your heart tells you that you can trust Jesus, but your head causes you to be doubtful? Jesus said many interesting and challenging things during his ministry and we can either willingly accept what he said, or we can let our doubts prevent us from moving forward with him.
Here a few things Jesus said during his ministry:
Jesus answered them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Luke 5:31-32).
Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever coms to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty’ (John 6:35).
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Holy Spirit …’ (John 7:38-39a).
Have you taken Jesus at his word and accepted God’s forgiveness, turning to him in repentance? Do you live for Christ as one from whom rivers of living water will flow?
Jesus has also promised to be with us at all times. This requires us to take Jesus at his word every day, as we seek to live in a way that pleases God.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20).
Pray: Father, we acknowledge that sometimes our hearts tell us that what Jesus said is true and he can be trusted, while our heads can be full of doubts. May we come to understand more and more that we can take Jesus at his word. Amen