Summary: The trials of life will reveal the reality and depth of our faith.
It Took a Miracle:
A LESSON IN FAITH 07/13/97a BBC
The key ingredient to a proper understanding and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is faith. The Word clearly teaches us, You shall be saved by grace through faith..." Faith is the channel in which we come to know Jesus Christ. Therefore one must have a proper understanding of faith. Faith is simply believing that God will do what He says He will do. But for some reason men through the centuries have made it much harder than it really is.
1) The Prompting of the Nobleman’s Faith (4:46-47)
So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
This father found himself in a very desperate situation. He had a son whom he loved very much that was stricken with an illness that appeared certain would lead to death. The father, being a nobleman and of the upper class in his city had certainly had his son at the finest doctors and hospitals in the area but to no avail. A fever was ravaging his son’s body and no one seemed to do anything about it. He was a desperate man. Through his despair and hopelessness he chose to take his need to Jesus of Nazareth, this carpenter turned preacher whom he had heard had turned water into wine and other miracles in the region. This desperate man would try anything for his dying son. He even was willing to try Jesus.
a. Desperation reveals to us our Basic Needs
It is sad that the beginning of most people’s faith is a sense of desperation, but this is reality. The one thing that keeps most people from Jesus is the lack of need. As long as everything is going well they simply don’t think they need Jesus. Critical situations reveal our weaknesses and our inadequacies.
b. Desperation breaks down our Foolish Pride
Desparation also has a way of breaking down our foolish pride. This nobleman had rank and status in a culture that rank and status was everything and here we find him traveling 20 miles to beg help from a simple carpenter from Nazareth. Previously, he would not have even considered lowering himself to do such a thing. This same Nobleman may have very well laughed and made jokes with some of his country club buddies about the claims being made of Jesus of Nazareth, but oh how a desparate situation changes thinds.
2) The Basis of the Nobleman’s Faith (4:48-49)
Then Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe." 49The nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!"
a. Faith had been based upon Verification by Signs
Jesus understood clearly that the Galileen’s idea of faith was totally wrong. When responding to the nobleman’s plea to heal His son, Jesus dealt first with a more weightier matter: the matter of faith. The nobleman and most of the Galileens had a "Prove Me" faith. The "Prove Me" faith simply says, "I’ll believe it when I see it." They wanted to see signs and miracles before they would believe on Jesus. But this is not faith at all as a matter of fact, true faith is just the opposite. Instead of basing our faith on "After I see, then I will believe," true faith reverses the order and says, "After I believe then I will see."
b. Faith had been based upon False Understandings
He thought that Jesus had to be Present to heal
He thought that Jesus could not raise the dead
3) The Test of the Nobleman’s Faith (4:50)
Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.
Even after Jesus challanged the father’s faith, the desparate persisted in his dependence upon Jesus. It was obvious this man had been stripped of his pride and was willing to do whatever it took for Jesus to heal his son. Jesus did not ask him to do any great work, but simply believe as He commanded the man, "Go, your way, your son lives." Jesus simply said, "Go." Although not said, Jesus clearly implied, "I do not have to go to Caperneum to heal your son. I have already accomplished that. Just Believe."
Although, Jesus’ command was quite simple it proved to be a great test for the nobleman as it placed him in a great delimma.