Summary: "Look at yourself and doubts will increase...look at God, and doubts will cease." Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Believing Without Seeing!
Jesus returns to the site of His first public miracle, and He’s going to work a second public miracle. In between the two was a miracle not so public. It was more internal than external, and it was the greatest of all miracles...saving the soul of the Bad Samaritan.
The Nobleman works directly for the King. A man of prominence and means. He seeks out the Lord and besought [begged] Him to work a miracle for his sick son. Jesus says, go back home, it’s all fine now. [Home was at least 20 miles away!] The Nobleman didn’t question or doubt it, but instantly believed...without seeing!
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
While walking home he’s met with his own servants whom he had left with his son. Most of us would see them and assume they were coming to tell us the child had finally died. But he knew better, and seeing the smiles on their faces he knew what they were about to say. Indeed, they were come to tell him the child was fine now.
Truly fascinating is what the Nobleman asked them. "What time did he get better?" It was at the exact moment Jesus spoke the word. This is how faith is supposed to work.
1. Man has problem.
2. Man brings problem to Jesus.
3. Jesus makes promise to man.
4. Man takes Jesus at His word.
5. Jesus comes through!
This is how faith is supposed to work. Without faith it’s impossible to please God. Faith is humble trust in the promises of God.
This story is a beautiful illustration of salvation. In his gospel, John selected seven of the many miracles of Jesus to tell us about. And he had a specific reason for choosing these seven. It was so people would believe in Jesus.
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Each of these seven miracles are an illustration of salvation. Like water to wine, the water of the Word turns to the wine of salvation. In this second miracle, the emphasis is on faith, because salvation comes thru faith, not by works. Now, good works can result from salvation, but they are not the cause of salvation. They are the fruit, not the root. The root is faith!
Contrast Jesus’ first and second miracles:
Water to Wine: Healing Nobleman’s Son:
Power over nature Power over disease
Time of joy Time of sorrow
To bring pleasure To relieve suffering
Power over time Power over space
[Turns water into wine all the time!] [Long distance healing]
This list reminds us that we need Jesus in all seasons of life. Good times/bad times. Joy/struggle. Going well/falling apart.
"I need they every hour...in joy or pain"
I. The Nobleman had a great sorrow.
A. The Condition of the son.
He’s at the point of death, and death is no respecter of age. We think it only happens to the elderly, but no matter our age, we have no promise of tomorrow. Don’t put off salvation.
ill.--a pastor was counseling a girl who wanted to know more about salvation. She was almost ready and agreeing to it, when she backed up and said, "I’m going to go through with it, but not right now. There’s some things I want to do first, I have plans to have some fun, and then I’ll take care of it." The Pastor said, "Just promise me you’ll wait at least one year before you follow thru and get saved." She said, "I can’t promise that, I could die in that period of time." "Well, six months then." he said. "No, I don’t know what I’ll be doing in six months." "How about one month?" "Who knows where they will be a month ahead of time? I might very well want to be saved before a month’s time goes by." He followed up, "OK, I’ll be flexible. Our next appointment is one week from today. I could help you then, just don’t ask for help any earlier than that." She said, "Listen, I don’t know what you’re doing but I can’t promise you anyth..." and then it hit her...she realized the folly of waiting at all to be saved, and that she didn’t have the promise of even tomorrow!
Death is no respecter of age. The death rate on earth remains 1:1