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Signs And Wonders Are Not Enough

John 4:43-54  The man took Jesus at his word (v 50)

We all have our favorite Bible stories.  One Sunday School student said his favorite was “The one in which everyone loafs and fishes.”

I doubt this story would be listed as anyone’s favorite.  It is rather simple; a man has a sick son, asks for Jesus’ help and gets it.  Just one of many similar, we are inclined to think.  The simplest stories are sometimes the hardest to understand, to learn from, because the obvious may not be the point.  But the simplest story may have a very important message.  John says this is a sign—of what?

When Jesus returned to Galilee he received a very positive reception because they had seen what he did at Jerusalem.  But John tells us Jesus did not trust himself to them.

An official of the king’s court hears Jesus has come and travels from Capernaum to seek help for his sick son.  The man asked Jesus to come home with him to heal his son.  Jesus refused.  He gave him no sign but simply said, “You may go. Your son will live.”

And the text says, The man took Jesus at his word.  I do not understand how or why he believed.  But an encounter with Jesus does that to those with open hearts.  John has told us earlier that those who believed on signs, Jesus did not trust.  It was those who believed on His word.

            Napoleon was reviewing troops and lost control of his horse.  A soldier stepped from the ranks and took control.  Napoleon was pleased and said, “Much obliged to you captain.”
The soldier noticed word “captain” and responded, “Which regiment, sire?”
“Of my guards.”
The soldier left his musket and ranks, walked to the officers quarters, and, to the anger of an officer there, announced he was a captain of the guards.  The angry man asked on whose authority?
The newly commissioned officer replied simply, “HE said it, sir!”1

On Jesus’ word we have forgiveness, but we want to FEEL forgiven.  We are promised  victory over sin, but we want a miracle.  He said it.  The foundation of  the Christian life is “What Jesus says is true!”  Someone has said, grab it with the “clutching intensity of a drowning man.”

Once again, John reminds us that how a person responds to Jesus is what counts.
Take Jesus at his word.

1 Unknow origin.

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