Pages Menu
Rss
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jan 16, 2017 in Bible Study | 1 comment

Believing the Promise When You Can’t See the Proof

“There was a certain royal official whose son was ill at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and pleaded with Him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die. Jesus told him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.’  ‘Sir,’ the official said to Him, ‘Come down before my boy dies!’ ‘Go,’ Jesus told him, ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus said to him and departed. While he was still going down, his slaves met him saying that his boy was alive. He asked them at what time he got better. ‘Yesterday at seven in the morning the fever left him,’ they answered. The father realized this was the very hour at which Jesus had told him, ‘Your son will live.’ Then he himself believed, along with his whole household.” 

John 4:46-53

Hey, hey, hey & happy Monday to you! I wanted to share the above scripture with you because it encouraged my heart so much when I studied it. I can’t help but place myself in the royal official’s shoes every time I read that story – especially now that I am a parent. I picture this royal official kneeling helplessly beside the bed of his sick son, begging the universe for a miracle. I imagine him watching his wife endure agony so deep that he wonders if the death of their son will also be the death of her. I can’t help but wonder if as he watched the life slowly being sucked out of his precious child and felt the sting of death creeping into their lives – did he beg God to take him instead? Because we all try to barter with God when the rug of life gets swept out from under us, right? God, if you do this, then I’ll do that. Pinky swear, scouts honor and all that jazz.

And then, just when he thinks all hope is lost and he’s about to be pushed down into the valley of the shadow of death, someone comes to him and says, “Hey! That Jesus guy is over in Galilee and I’ve heard He’s healed a few people. It may be worth a shot to make the trip over there and see what He can do for your boy.” (Making this scenario up in my head, because that’s what I do when I read my Bible)

Jesus was 20 miles away from Capernaum, where the royal official lived. That’s 20 miles that the royal official had to travel by foot (or maybe a donkey? Either way – not a quick trip). So this royal official had to kiss his son goodbye, not knowing if it would be their final exchange, and travel 20 miles to see if Jesus was willing and able to help. I think I would have had to weigh that trip out. I don’t know if I would have had the courage and faith to leave Atlas on his deathbed to go in search of help that I wasn’t even totally sure would pan out. Those final moments of someone’s life are beyond priceless, and yet the official believed in Jesus so much he risked those moments with his son to go search for the man people called “Healer.” So, I personally am impressed by the royal official’s faith at the beginning of this story.

And then when he finally gets to Jesus – his saving grace, his Hail Mary, his last ditch effort – Jesus kind of blows him off and says, “You don’t really believe in me – you must be dazzled by my miracles to actually believe and that’s not really faith at all.” (paraphrasing there) The royal official again pleads with Jesus to come back to Capernaum with him. He calls Jesus “Sir” which wasn’t necessary, considering the official’s prestigious title. There was no reason for him to show Jesus any type of respect, but yet he humbled himself before Jesus because somewhere deep in his heart he believed Jesus had the cure and he was desperate for a miracle. All he needed was for Jesus to just go home with him and touch his son…or so he thought.

But Jesus doesn’t go home with him. Instead Jesus sends him home alone with nothing but a promise. “Go, your son will live.”

That’s it. That’s all he got. Y’all! That is all.he.freaking.got. A verbal promise. That royal official had to turn around and travel 20 miles BACK home ALONE, not fully knowing if he was going to walk through the door to a corpse and a grieving wife who I imagine would say, “You weren’t here! Our son died and you weren’t here!”

But the Bible tells us he believed what Jesus said to him. He believed that promise and I believe that fueled his faith with every step he took on that 20 mile trek home. For 20 miles, I bet he recalled those 5 words uttered by Jesus over and over and over again. “Go, your son will live.” He clung to those words, because his son’s life depended on them. He believed the promise when he couldn’t see the proof. And that’s real faith. That’s the kind of faith that moves the heart of Jesus. I’m not sure why Jesus didn’t go home with the official, but I do know the lesson it taught me. I think Jesus desires my faith in Him – not just in his miracles – but in Him. He wants me to have faith that He is good and His ways are good and His promises are true – even when I can’t see the immediate proof or feel instant relief.

Before the official could get to his house, a servant runs to meet him with the news that his son has been healed. He got his proof and as a result, an abiding faith took root, not only in him, but in his entire household. Jesus never went to the man’s house and physically touched his son, but yet because the official believed in the promise, Jesus was still able to touch the masses.

What promises are you failing to rest in because you aren’t currently seeing the proof?

Are you exhausted, Mama? Because I am. But Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…learn from me…and you will find rest for your souls.” That’s a hard promise to cling to when both my kids are having meltdowns and my husband is working late and I burned dinner {again} and I just want to call my mom and cry about how tired I am, only I can’t call her and cry because I don’t have time to call anybody and cry. It’s easy to be like, “Um, Jesus! I NEED a nap right now. Can you please drop an unexpected babysitter at my door right.this.second? Hello? Where are you?” But Jesus promises rest IF I come to Him. There’s an important sequence that I think must be noted. Jesus told the official, “GO, Your son will be healed.” The official had to obey and leave. If I want to find rest, Jesus tells me to “Come.” And you know what? When I listen and I come to him in the morning before my kids wake up, and the day hasn’t even begun, he gives me the rest I need for my soul. He gives me what I need to make it through another day of meltdowns and burned meals.

There are so many promises to cling to as we travel from our place of hope back to our reality. Like how God promises to never change (Malachi 3:6). Or how His love is everlasting (Ps 100:5). He is faithful in all His words (Ps. 145: 13). He will provide every thing we need to do His will (Hebrews 13:20-21). He promises that when we trust Him, He will be a faithful guide (Prov 3:5-6).

God promises peace when we keep our minds on Him (Is 26:3). If we focus on the goodness of God and all He promises to His children, then we can walk in peace – even during the long walk home. We don’t need immediate proof to believe the promise.

1 Comment

  1. That is a beautiful story from the Bible and so encouraging. Loved reading this!

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge