Summary: An analysis of John 4:46-53. Looking at the progression of faith in the royal official and showing such can be manifested in us today
From Agonizing Fear to Absolute Faith
Were this title a pharmaceutical advertisement for a pill just approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the market could expect huge profits in a short time. As you know, such is not the case so far as the pharmaceutical industries having the power to take one out of deep fear into deep faith. Faith does not have its origins in chemistry but in the word of God (Romans 10:17). The mind which can take the promises of God at their face value and have a steadfast faith in the author of those promises can be transformed from agonizing fear to absolute faith. I set now the scriptures before you from the American Standard Bible.
46 He came therefore again unto Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain [j]nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. 48 Jesus therefore said unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe. 49 The [k]nobleman saith unto him, [l]Sir, come down ere my child die. 50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. The man believed the word that Jesus spake unto him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his [m]servants met him, saying, that his son lived. 52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to amend. They said therefore unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
I would like to consider three points in this lesson. First, there must be a determination to find the one who has the answer. Secondly, there must be a dependence on the answer provided by the person sought. Thirdly, doubtless faith is established when that dependence is complete.
The answer to the royal official’s dilemma was not in the town of Capernaum. There was nothing there that could deliver his son from the fever he had. There was nothing his rank could bring to bear on the problem in the town. There was nothing his money could buy to relieve the problem. The son was near death in a place that could offer no hope. I pause here to remind us of the number of occasions in which we have been similarly situated. Our situations may not have been parallel to that of the royal official but we have known times when the fist of desperation beat mightily on our own doors. The noise was such that it could provoke a headache that would not go away. Can you remember such times? Before us was a problem with such fear causing consequences that we despaired of life. Our physical resources are too insufficient to face the problem and our spiritual stamina is too weak to endure through the crisis. Now comes the time to be resolute in our decision to find a solution. We become open to any reasonable idea that can provide the courage we need to pursue the solution.