Saturday, March 20, 2010

Life of Christ Devotional - Jn 4:43-54

"After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, 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. And 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)

Well, this is where it all began. This is the place where Jesus performed his first miracle when He turned the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Jesus returns to this same area and His reputation now precedes Him. The news of the “miracle man” had spread and the rumor of his wonder working power had saturated the land. They anticipated His arrival and when the people saw Him, the announcement was made, “He is here! He is here!”
This was the perfect opportunity for Jesus to display His power among the people. His reputation had preceded Him and a crowd was gathering. What an ideal chance for Him to perform life changing miracles among the people so that they might believe that He was the Messiah. He alone could awe them with His authority over all creation. Like a huge fireworks display, let His power be made known for all to see!
Yet, that is exactly the reason he did not perform such attention grabbing miracles. He was not a magician who came to perform for the people. He was not the village witch doctor or Shaman who had special powers to heal and speak to spirits. He was much more! He was God in the flesh who came to save their souls from certain death. A public miracle in this setting would only distract from this purpose and lead people to seek signs instead of seeking a Savior. Jesus knew this and withheld the display of His power at the risk of His reputation (as He did with the woman at the well). He chose instead to rebuke the excited crowd for their misguided intentions.
“You have to see to believe. Blessed is the man who does not see, but still believes.”
Just then, an important leader steps forward and says, “I care less about me and more about my son. I love him deeply and he is dying. You are my only hope and I beg you to save him. Please come to my house and heal my son!”
With the utmost compassion, Jesus looks into the troubled man’s eyes and says, “You may go. Your son will live.”
Now the man had a choice. Jesus had not met his request. He would not make the trip back to his house to lay hands on his son. And yet, Jesus said he was healed. If he did not believe he would stay and beg, “No! Jesus! You must come. You must come and heal my son.”
Instead, he stood silent. To turn and walk away and begin the 20 mile journey to his home would begin with a single step of faith. A simple trust and hope in the promise of Jesus. “If He is the promised Messiah, it will be done as He said. He is my only hope. To obey His direction, I must walk in faith.”
And so he does. And soon his faith becomes sight as his son greets him at the door of his home. And as the man tells his story, all in his household believe.
A miracle had been performed - A miracle of faith where a man chose to believe that which he could not see. He trusted the promise of Jesus and the miracle of faith spread throughout his home.
Can you believe without seeing? Are you seeking a sign or a Savior? Know today that His greatest power is demonstrated in an act of simple faith. Trust Him today and begin the journey with a single step of faith.

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