Fifteen miles is a long way on a tired mount, especially when belief and unbelief are wrestling inside us. The royal official was riding through that transitional world between faith and sight that we all have to navigate. He had set off yesterday from Capernaum climbing the steep trail to Cana. Jesus was there and the official had heard that He did miracles. Could He heal his son before the sickness took his life? It wasn’t until he heard Jesus speak that he started to believe:
The royal official said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. (John 4:49-50)
The official’s journey home was plagued by doubt. Jesus had done nothing—no wave of His hand, no medicine to rush home with. Did Jesus even glance in the direction of Capernaum? Jesus’ only response was the simple statement, “Go; your son lives.” Jesus certainly didn’t offer a home visit. Had the official wasted his journey? Should he have stayed home to hold his son’s hand as he breathed his last breath? But there was something authoritative about Jesus’ words, especially His use of the present tense, “Your son lives.” And hadn’t Jesus challenged him to believe, even without a sign.1 Wringing faith from Jesus’ words, the royal official trotted on.
As he rounded a corner and looked down the road his heart missed a beat. Those were his servants hurrying up the trail. What was the news? Had his son worsened . . . or died?
His slaves met him, saying that his son was living. So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives”; and he himself believed and his whole household. (John 4:51-53)
Jesus’ words had proved doubly true; not only had the boy recovered but the fever had broken at the same time that Jesus had made His simple declaration. The battle between belief and unbelief was over. The family, servants and staff were so impressed by the healing that everyone believed.
We face similar journeys of faith in God. We may have little to base our faith on—a Scripture, a previous experience, or a prophecy or prayer spoken over us. Jesus is always calling us deeper in faith. We have to clutch onto what we know of His character and let that fuel faith for our latest struggle. God is involved in our lives, He has the power to accomplish His will, and His will is always best for us. Let’s wring faith from who God is and what He says. There is enough there to last until His words come true.
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- John 4:48. [↩]