John 4:50-54 – Lesson #48

The son of a nobleman lies in bed, dying. The boy’s mother tries her best to provide comfort, but all hope is fading. The nobleman stares into the distance feeling useless, helpless. He has always been a good provider and protector of his family, but now….there is nothing he can do. He has heard of a man named Jesus who seems able to perform miracles. Perhaps this man can save his son. And so, the journey of faith begins.

It’s difficult to say how much the nobleman knew about Jesus, but he knew enough for there to be a spark of hope. When he heard that Jesus was in Cana (about 18 miles away), he quickly set out with the goal to bring this man back to his house so his son could be healed. As the nobleman approached Jesus and began to urgently ask Him to come to Capernaum, he was not fully prepared for Jesus’ response.

John 4:50-54
“Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 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.’ 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. This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.”

The nobleman was challenged to evaluate what he really believed. If he continued to beg Jesus to come to his house, it would say he didn’t believe what Jesus said. And yet, if he did what Jesus said – if he released control – he would be making the long trip back home empty handed, perhaps to find a dead son. The nobleman believed and “went his way,” but his was a very tentative belief filled with turmoil.

Mark writes of another father who brought his sick boy to Jesus and clearly captures the turmoil of belief; “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). I wish I could say this is simply an example of immature faith, but I can’t. As my faith continues to grow and to be challenged by God, I am often brought to decision points where I fall to my knees and cry “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

The nobleman’s belief was confirmed and further strengthened when he asked the hour when his son recovered. By the time the nobleman returned home his faith was so strong that it compelled his whole household to believe. Our faith is never adequate for someone else, but the power of testimony and example are very strong – especially when a true example comes from a believing father.

As difficult as some decisions of faith may be, we must consider them as opportunities to learn and mature and draw closer to God. His claims and promises are true – He CAN be trusted. Let’s accept the challenge to trust Him with every single step. Let’s truly live by faith and strengthen our belief.

Have a Great Day!
Steve Troxel God’s Daily Word Ministries