The blessings and spiritual growth we receive from God are not according to our family, fortune, feelings, or “fate.” Christ said, “According to your faith let it be to you” (Matthew 9:29b; emphasis added).
So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe” (John 4:46-48).
Doubtless, this nobleman had heard that Jesus turned water into wine. So he came seventeen miles from Capernaum, thinking, “Anybody who can turn water into wine can heal my son.” Jesus did perform miracles. But why? To authenticate His ministry, so that we might believe and have eternal life. (Read John 20:30-31; Acts 2:22.)
So why did Jesus rebuke this nobleman?
Demanding a sign is dishonoring to God.
We have His Word. “He who does not believe God has made Him a liar” (see 1 John 5:10).
Demanding a sign can deceive you.
Jesus said, “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22).
This nobleman moved from weak, superstitious faith to strong, substantive faith, and there were four progressive steps.
- He heard the Word of God.
“The nobleman said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives’” (John 4:49-50a).
Faith is not receiving what you want; faith is taking God at His Word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
- He believed the Word.
“So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way” (John 4:50b). It is not enough to hear the Word. If don’t believe it, you will not have faith.
“I just can’t,” you say. Your problem is not intellectual; it is moral. Your problem is in your heart, not your head. Faith is a response to the character of God. When your heart is right, it will respond to the Word of God in faith.
- He obeyed the Word.
This is what the Bible calls obedience of faith. (See Romans 16:26.) If this nobleman still had superficial faith, he would have stayed, begging for a sign. But he did exactly what Jesus told him to, and believed.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).
- He rested in the Word.
“And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, ‘Your son lives!’ Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him’” (John 4:51-52).
You cannot hurry God, but you cannot stop Him! Don’t try to live by emotions and visions. The Lord says, “Rest in Me.” (Read Psalm 37:5-7.)
“So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your son lives.’ And he himself believed, and his whole household” (John 4:53). Didn’t he already believe? Yes, but this is different. This time, he believed in Jesus as his Messiah, as his Lord and Savior.
Jesus did not come as a healer; Jesus came as a Savior. (See Luke 19:10.) His miracles pointed to the greater miracle: new birth. (Read John 3:3-6.)
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