The man, a royal official of the Roman government, approached Jesus and begged for the life of his son. The boy was all but dead, but the father had heard of the miracle-working teacher and took a risk. Every parent (and grandparent) understands; my child is worth it. Jesus’ response seems harsh at first glance: “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe” (John 4:48). But the father would not be deterred; “Sir, come down before my child dies” (v. 49). But Jesus still would not go. How could He ignore this father’s desperate plea? While He stayed where He was, he did not deny the request.
“Jesus replied, ‘You may go. Your son will live.’” Now if I were the father in this scene, I probably would have grabbed Jesus by the arm and dragged Him to my house and the bedside of my child. “No, Jesus – You HAVE to come. You have to be here. You have to touch him. You have to do your magic over him.” But John reports that “The man took Jesus at His word and departed” (v. 50). What kind of incredible faith is that? The kind that sees miracles.
As he made his way home, his servants met him. The fever was gone, the boy was healed. “What time did he get better?” the father asked. “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour” (v. 52). At the very moment when Jesus said to him “You son will live.” Is it any wonder that “he and all his household believed.” (v. 53)?
Our culture refuses to believe. They say there is no proof that God is real and that Jesus is His Son. I think that is the Church’s fault. It would appear that we don’t believe either. We have an entire book filled with the promises of God. But we live like spiritual paupers and helpless, hopeless orphans. We have His command to go into all the world as His representatives and declare His gospel. We have His promise to be with us, to empower us, and to fill us with His Spirit. But we’re not going. We’re not declaring. And we’re missing all the wonderful things He wants to do.
No wonder the world doesn’t believe. His own people do not take Him at His Word. Can you imagine what the Lord might do with believers who actually believe? What say you, Beloved? Are you going to take Him at His word?