Summary: The Makings of a Worshipper
Encountering Christ in the Book of John #5
Today we come to the fifth individual that we’re going to be considering in our Encounters with Christ series. I want you to recall that last week as we considered the Samaritan woman, we discovered that worship has to do with real life. It’s not just about what happens in here, inside our house of worship, but it involves everyday, real-life situations, involving real people like you and me. We discovered that worship is not just about singing or praying or coming to church, worship is about honoring God, about recognizing His honor and feeling the worth of it. Worship has to do with preachers, like John the Baptist and Andrew. It has to do with religious people and community leaders, like Nicodemus. It has to do with people who have wrecked their lives through sin and shame, like the woman at the well, and it has to do with strong, powerful men like the one we’re going to consider today. If the Lord’s desire then was to make worshippers out of all these individuals, and His desire today is that you and I become worshippers, something must happen in our lives to awaken that desire in us. That’s where the encounters with Christ come in, and in each of these encounters, there is something more that I want to introduce you to today that has been present in all of these encounters: a crisis of belief.
As I think about it, it seems to me that you can begin in Genesis and work your way through Revelation, and pick out all the men and women whom we admire so much, and you’ll find this one element in every one of their lives – a point of crisis, a time in their lives when their backs were against the wall so to speak, and at that moment, a decision had to be made concerning their faith, and the result of that decision determined whether worship would be involved. I want to explore this thought with you this morning as we consider our nobleman in John 4, and in doing so I want you to realize that each time you encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, He brings you to some crisis point in your life, whether you think it is large or small, significant or not so significant, and He demands that a decision be made as a demonstration of your faith, and I think we’ll find that your decision in those moments of crisis determine whether Christ has been worshipped, or glorified, or honored in your life in that moment. Let’s read our text in John 4:46-54, then we’ll explore these thoughts.
“So Jesus came again into Cana, of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea 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. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down before my child dieth. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way: thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to improve. And they said unto him, Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth; and he himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee.”
Now, let’s think about a few things here. What was Jesus after in this man, why do we have the record of their encounter, and what do we need to learn?
The Makings of a Worshipper
We’ve said it already – Jesus was after this man’s worship, He wanted this nobleman, a man who knew well what it meant to be in authority and have recognition to honor Him, to recognize Jesus’ honor and feel the worth of it. He knew that the nobleman would be coming that day, that he would be seeking Him out and knew quite well what his emotional, his mental and his spiritual condition were. What were these conditions? He was emotionally and mentally drained. He was at the end of his rope, and he was spiritually dead. He didn’t have that spiritual well from which to draw strength and hope. He was in great need, and the last thing on his mind was worshipping or honoring someone. He just wanted help for his son. Did Jesus get the worship He was after? Did He create a worshipper in this short encounter? According to the rest of the story the answer is yes. So how did it happen? I want to give you three things that Jesus did to make a worshipper out of this man, three things that occur in your life as well.