Reading through John recently, I came across a very familiar passage that I’ve heard dozens of sermons on. You may recognize it as well.
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. 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. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 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.” 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. –John 4:46-53
So many times, we think of the faith that it took the official to leave his son on his deathbed and go seek help from this healer called Jesus. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see this as a huge leap of faith.
You’re child is dying.
You hear that a healer is coming nearby (sort of nearby).
You go to the healer.
I guess that just makes sense to me.
However, I do think that this official displayed incredible faith – just not where we typically think.
“The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.” –John 4:50b
Rather than coming and healing this man’s son, Jesus speaks the word. He doesn’t lay hands on the boy. He doesn’t cast demons out of the house. He simply tells the man to go home and he’ll live.
Words. Not visible works.
For those who call Christ their Savior, that’s our hope as well: Jesus’ words.
The wind blows where it wishes and you hear it’s sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. –John 3:8
The man heard Jesus’ words and left – trusting that what Jesus said was true. All he could rely on was that if Jesus says it will happen, it must.
And that’s faith.