As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. (John 4:46-50)
Read: Judges 16:1 – 18:31
Relate: One of the big issues some Bible scholars have with the book of John compared to the other three gospels is how abrasive Jesus can seem to come across in some of his conversations. John doesn’t just cover different material than the other three, he even seems to show a different side of Jesus. While each of the gospels has its own focus and agenda, one of the major focuses of John is the uniqueness of Christ. He isn’t just another prophet. He isn’t just a great man or a rabbi. He isn’t just a revolutionary or the founder of a new religion. He is all this plus so much more. John makes it very clear that Jesus was God and Jesus knew it.
Sometimes, as a result, Jesus comes across as abrasive. He was operating at a whole different level and sometimes those around just didn’t get it. Sometimes that difference is absolutely beautiful. It is John who writes of Jesus washing His disciples feet. Nicodemus, Cana, the Samaritan woman, these are all beautiful illustrations of the love Jesus had for us and they are all found only in John. But now, when Jesus meets the official from Capernaum, He comes across as awfully harsh. This official comes to Jesus because his boy is dying. Jesus turns around and accuses the guy of unbelief. The man responds, “please come, my boy is dying!” So how does Jesus respond, “Go home. He’ll be fine.” Accusatory and dismissive. It is so easy for surface scholars read this into the story.
React: What if we were to look a little further? Everything Jesus said was spot on. The very moment He spoke those words, the boy got better. Then, after the father realized Jesus was the author of hi boy’s healing, after he saw the miraculous sign and wonder, the father believed. This father didn’t come to Jesus with faith. He came with desperation. This was a last ditch effort of a doubting man, but Jesus healed anyways. Jesus knew exactly what was in this man’s heart. He also knew exactly what would be in the man’s heart. He was operating on a whole different level.
There are some who say if God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers it is because we don’t have enough faith. They say if we would just speak it forth, if we would just generate a little more faith, believe a little harder, God would answer whatever we ask for. I say that’s garbage. No, that is too kind. I say that is one big steaming pile of male bovine feces. You can’t “generate” faith. If you could, then when God does answer our prayers we would be like, “look how much faith I have.” Who gets the glory? Faith is a gift from God. You can’t generate it but you can exercise it. Even the tiniest amount (perhaps, mustard seed size?) planted in the will of Jesus, can do wonders. When His faith, given to us moves in His direction according to His will, water turns to wine… mountains move… little boys are healed… and He gets the glory.
God, I am so grateful that any faith that I might have is a gift from You. I am so grateful that I don’t have to try and work it up or generate it all on my own. Like that little boy’s father, I often find myself running to You desperate… doubting. I am grateful that You move on my behalf anyways. It is all You. You do all the heavy lifting. And You deserve all the glory. Lord, I believe in You. Help my unbelief. In everything may Your will be done. In everything may Your glory be revealed.