Jesus and his disciples were traveling to Galilee. They grew tired and stopped at Jacob’s well in the Samaritan town of Sychar to rest. His disciples left him to go into town to find food. While he was alone, a Samaritan woman came to the well to get water. He gave her “living water” so that she would not thirst again. She left her jar and went back to town to tell everyone about Jesus. As a result of her testimony the scriptures says that many from that town believed in Jesus.
So with that background, we pick up John 4:43-54, to give an example of the power of faith.
43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.
46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee. ESV
Do you have faith? Do you believe in something or someone who is greater than you? Do you trust in the ability of that object to which you believe to accomplish what needs to be done? What you stake your life upon that faith?
Faith: a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion. b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust. (3) : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs <the Protestant … (merriam-webster.com)
The Bible has much to say about faith. 2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us “for we walk [live] by faith, not by sight”. A definition of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In the remainder of the chapter, it describes events that took place and how people accomplished things “by faith.”
In our story, we find a civil or military man of some importance who has a situation that he cannot change. He had a boy who was ill and it looked like he would die from the illness. We know nothing of this man or his family other than he was in Capernaum, which was over 5 miles away from Cana. He had heard Jesus was in Cana. Perhaps he had heard of what Jesus had done by turning the water into wine. For whatever reason, this father believed that Jesus could do something for his son.
The father made his way to Cana and found Jesus and asked him to come to Capernaum to heal his son. Jesus reply was not “yes” or “no”, but a statement regarding the general attitude of the crowd. He said “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The father’s response showed his sincerity when he said “Sir, [please] come down before my child dies.” When we face life and death situations, we can’t be playing around; we must be open and honest with God.
Jesus saw that sincerity and said, “Go; your son will live.” And the father of the sick boy believed what Jesus said. Isn’t that the heart of faith, it’s believing what Jesus says! We have the Bible to tell us what we are to do and what our attitude should be, how we are to cope with life’s struggles. Christians have the Holy Spirit guiding them, giving us input throughout the day, in how we are to act or react. We have a baseline of experience in seeing God work in our lives that cannot be attributed to anything but his work. It’s not trusting in ourselves, but in our Creator. Having faith in Him! He knows the difference in the beginning and the end.
The man left Cana to go back to Capernaum; to his son. Along the way, his servant met him. I’m sure the servant must have had a huge smile on his face and told him the boy was recovering. The father asked when he began to get better and was told “Yesterday at the seventh hour (1:00 pm)”. And he was touched because he knew that was the time Jesus said “your son will live.”
The passage then tells us the father and his entire household believed. In what did they believe? They believed that Jesus was who he said he was; the perfect son of God, the Christ, the promised Messiah.
When I was twenty-six years old, I was at the point of death. I had a blood clot that was very near my heart. Had it moved, I could have easily died. Afterward, I thought about where I would be if I had died. Without Jesus, I would have been in Hell.
I ask you again, in who or what are you placing your faith? I pray it is in Jesus and Jesus alone.
What’s your thoughts?