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.

When the official heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he made a journey of more than 20 miles on foot. When he reached Jesus, he addressed him as “Sir,” and begged for Jesus to come back with him to heal his son who was close to death. Even though the man had legal authority, he was submitting to Jesus.

However, the official didn’t recognize and honor Jesus as the Savior of the world but believed Jesus could heal his son and persisted. Why? Because he knew Jesus had done miracles and he was in a crisis. Jesus recognized the man’s belief and responded, “You may go. Your son will live.” The Galilean official obeyed, returned to his son, and when he was told that his son was healed at the 7th hour he believed that Jesus needed only to speak the words that his son would live. So, was it the man’s belief that saved his son, or was it Jesus knowing that this miracle would solidify the man’s faith and belief; not only his, but that of his family? Maybe both?

Time and distance are not obstacles to God’s miraculous powers. Just like the man in this story, shouldn’t we ask and move forward believing that our prayers will be answered? When we do this, our faith is exercised, and it will grow and be strengthened. Then we can share with others how God’s blessings come through our faith in him.

The seed of faith caused the official to go to Jesus and the miracle caused it to grow. Faith is ever-evolving and growing. The Lord often graciously meets us at our point of crisis, but that’s just the beginning. He wants us to believe in and follow Him not only because he delivered us from our crisis, but because he is our Savior and Lord whom we trust.

Even those of us who have believed in Christ as Savior need to look in the mirror. All too often, we’re just like this royal official. We don’t pray unless we’re in a crisis. We keep Jesus on the shelf, like Aladdin’s lamp. When we need Him, we pull Him off the shelf, try to rub Him the right way, and ask for His help. But after the crisis passes, we put Him back on the shelf and get on with life virtually without Him. He wants us to believe in Him for who He is and to fellowship with Him at all times.

Lord, help us to stay in a close relationship with you, and strengthen our faith, not because of what you do for us but because of who you are.

Deb Hill

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