Summary: We watch the Nobleman's faith grow from a spark to a fire and then to a bonfire. He rose to the place of seventh-hour faith for a miracle. So can you.
1. Kids have a way of coming up with tall tales about what happened at school. Parents are told the wildest things.
2. One wise school teacher sent home a note to the parents of all her students that read, “If you promise not to believe everything your child says happened at school, I’ll promise not to believe everything he says happened at home!”
3. It’s good to consider the source! Join with me in reading John 4:46-53.
46 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. 47 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. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.
1. This account illustrates the rise and progress of a person’s faith. You may feel your faith is strong – yet still need more.
2. Some of you have situations that look impossible. Maybe You’ve even come to the end of all your efforts.
3. The Lord has direction for you through this passage:
a. What kind of Savior He is?
b. What He expects you to do now?
c. God’s purpose is to challenge and increase your faith by doing the impossible!
4. Title: “Seventh Hour Faith.”
I. THE SPARK OF FAITH (Small faith)
A. AT FIRST, HIS FAITH ONLY RESTED ON THE REPORT OF OTHERS
1. He’d never seen/ heard Jesus; he simply believed the reports of others. At this point in His ministry Jesus had:
a. Turned the water into wine at Cana;
b. At Jerusalem, done many wonderful works.
2. Faith often begins that way; like the Samaritans at Sychar, who believed because of the woman’s report. Later they believed because they experienced Christ themselves (Jn. 4:42).
B. CRISIS DROVE HIM TO CHRIST
1. Troubles are sometimes God’s means to get us closer to Him.
2. Thus troubles can be blessings in disguise.
C. LIMITED THE LORD’S POWER TO LOCAL PRESENCE
1. The Nobleman thought that if Jesus could enter his boy’s room, the fever would be healed. He had no idea that Jesus could work at a distance of 25-30 miles (or further). He limited Jesus, we shouldn’t.
2. The Centurion (Mt. 8:8) said, “Lord, I’m not worthy that You should come under my roof; speak the word only.” The Centurion believed Jesus didn’t have to be there, but could just speak and it would happen.
II. SMALL FAITH STRENGTHENED
A. FEEBLE FAITH DETECTED
1. The Nobleman requested Jesus actually come to his home. That’s all his faith could embrace. The Centurion’s faith was stronger.
B. FEEBLE FAITH CHALLENGED
1. By the Lord’s chiding, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
2. WE WANT GOD TO WORK IN OUR WAY AND OUR TIME! Like Naaman the leper, who expected the Prophet to come out and “strike his hand over the place and recover the leprosy.”
3. We think we can only be healed if we receive:
a. Anointing with oil;
b. Have hands laid upon us by the elders of the church;
c. Have someone pray over us with fervent energy, declaring our healing. Some think they have to “fall under the power” in
order to get healed.
4. NO! LET GOD BE GOD!
5. The Prophet told Naaman, “Go wash in the river 7 times!” To many that DOESN’T seem very glamorous, very spiritual.
6. Naaman could have given up when rebuked. Many people, when facing difficulties, grow weary and give up. Maybe some of you are weary. Hold on for your miracle!
7. Naaman threw away his preconceived ideas of how HE THOUGHT God ought to do it and agreed to do it God’s way. And you know the rest of the story; IF YOU DO THINGS GOD’S WAY, YOU GET GOD’S RESULTS!
C. FAITH STRENGTHENED
The Lord Jesus told him, “Go! Your son will live.”
III. THE FLAME OF FAITH