The scene reads like a script for a movie. A wealthy father’s son is sick, so sick that even the best doctors cannot help him. So, when the official hears that Jesus is in a nearby town, he travels 25 miles to try his best to talk Jesus into coming with him to heal his son. This wealthy official was probably used to getting what he asked for, so the images he had in his head of the way things would go probably included Jesus responding positively and acquiescing to the man’s request.

Only Jesus didn’t. Instead of traveling the 25 miles with him back to his home, Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” (John 4:50a). If I were the wealthy official, I would have responded, “Go with you? You’re coming with me?” After all, that’s what he wanted. That’s what he initially believed was needed for his son to be healed. Not only that but can you imagine how mad his wife would have been if he waltzed back into town without Jesus? Yikes!

John tells us that “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.” (John 4:50b) He took Jesus at his word and he went home. The initial journey of leaving Capernaum and going to Cana took faith, but it might have taken even more faith for him to leave believing that Jesus would be faithful to his word. Those two components of faith are present for us as well. First is the faith to come to Jesus. That needs to be present in each one of us – to bring our hurt and pain to him and ask him to heal. However, like this man, we also need faith to believe that Jesus will be good on his promises. Just like this man, we need the faith to leave, trusting that what Jesus promises is good as done.

We have a cultural proverb: seeing is believing. However, in this passage, we see that Jesus sometimes operates with the opposite methodology: believing is seeing. Sometimes our sight follows our belief – sometimes we need to leave before we see the provision firsthand.

What is one promise of Jesus that you are clinging to today? What would it look like for you to take Jesus at his word, just like this official did?

Pastor Ryan Paulson

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