Introduction

In our previous study, we had looked into the second miracle performed by Jesus in the book of John. We have begin looking at the various teaching that we can learn from this incident.

So far we have discussed 2 lessons 

Lesson 1 : He Learnt To Stop Relying On Himself And To Rely on Jesus 
Lesson 2 : He Learnt To Approach Jesus In Person 

As we have tried to look deeper into the issue of faith, now let us consider what is a true faith.

Understanding True Faith

Often when we approach someone for help, its natural that we would stand back and see what the person can do. This is natural as we are all human beings and there is a limit to what we can do. Assuming if the person is unable to help us, we may have to approach others for

But sadly, sometimes we adopt the same attitude when we are dealing with God.We rely on others to pray for us and we approach God with an attitude to test and  see if we can receive healing or not.

But if we choose to keep that attitude, we would never receive grace from Jesus . For Elder James tell us

“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
  for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
  driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not
  that man suppose that he will receive
  anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded
  man, unstable in all his ways.”- James ( Jas 1:6-8)

True faith is one that does not have doubt, and there is no middle ground between the 2. It is not possible to choose to believe and doubt at the same time. For one who practice that does not have faith. He is in fact double minded.

There is a need for us to choose not to be double minded, for it is up to us to choose whether to believe in God or not. That is a choice that no one can make for us.

We have heard what Jesus can do and we have read what he said. It is our choice to believe them or not. If we choose to believe in him, we will pray to him and receive grace from him.

Therefore we need to establish our faith in God. Even though we first knew of Jesus through our friends and relative, even though they prayed for us when we are still too weak to pray. But we need to develop our faith and build it upon the Lord. Let us learn to be firm and not be double minded

Lesson 3 : He Chose To Obey Jesus Instead of Telling Jesus What To Do

As you go through the story of this miracle, you will realise how the faith of the nobleman grew as the story progressed. His faith was first built when he heard how Jesus turning water into wine. That is why he chose to come to Jesus personally to plead with him to save his son.

His faith can be seen in his action of coming personally and inviting Jesus to his house. However, Jesus did not do according to what he wanted, instead Jesus sent the nobleman back to his house.

Lets consider what would the nobleman feel at that point of time. I think we would all react in this similar fashion

1. “Its unbelievable, Jesus did nothing to help me”  
2. “All I wanted is that he follow me, lay hand on my son and pray for him”
3. “Am I asking for too much? Did Jesus not heal the sick like this all the time?”
4. “Why did Jesus give me such strange instruction?”

It may appear as if we have pleaded and Jesus had decline our requests. All he did is to ask us to go home. 

In fact Jesus wanted the man to listen to him and go home. Jesus told the man

“Unless you people see signs and wonders,
  you will by no means believe.”- Jesus (Jn 4:48)

Indeed, the nobleman did not see his son recovering, so he reacted quickly saying “Sir, come down before my son dies” . At that point of time, Jesus told him

“Go you way, your son lives” .”- Jesus (Jn 4:50)

So now, how would we react when Jesus tell us this? That is when we need to consider, “Do we believe in the miracles or the person who perform the miracle?”

For if we choose to believe in the words of Jesus, he will trust that his son had fully recovered. But if we choose only to believe in the miracle, then there was no miracle before his very eyes. So are we going to believe just because we saw the miracle? 

At that point, the faith of the nobleman improved, that is the time he chose to believe in Jesus, he did not tell Jesus what he wants him to do, but he is willing to follow the instruction of Jesus.

He left Cana , empty handed but with faith in his heart.  Along the way he met his servant who told him that his son lives, and calculated back and discovered that his son was heal at the moment when Jesus said “Your son lives”

To Follow Or Not To Follow

Let us consider how our faith is like. Let us consider this question carefully

“Do you want God to listen to us and follow our orders?”

Whenever we approach God and make our supplications, there are many thoughts that go through our heads. We often wish that Jesus would do this and that, according to our whims and fancies.

That is when we forget that we cannot instruct God and tell him what we want him to do. Even though our request can be reasonable, just like what the nobleman wanted Jesus to do.

All he wanted is that Jesus to come to his house and lay hand on his son. We know from the bible that Jesus indeed did that to heal the sick, but even if our request are reasonable, we tend to forget that God has his will and his time.

We cannot ask God to follow our orders but instead we ought to listen to him. For we believe that God timing is better than ours and his foolishness is wiser than man.

So when Jesus does not heed our request, will we continue to believe in him? If Jesus sends us back empty handed, will we go home quietly? Are we willing to do as he instructed?

True faith is one that knows how to plead with God personally, it is also one that is willing to listen to the instruction of the Lord

Lesson 4: He Advanced From Praying For Physical Need To Spiritual Needs  

The faith of the nobleman grew from praying for his physical need to praying for his spiritual needs. This can be seen in the conclusion of that story. For John had written

“He himself believed, and his whole household.”- John (Jn 4:53)

The nobleman faith is now different, it is not just a faith that believes that Jesus can cure illness. It became a faith that believes that Jesus is able to save him and his household.

The nobleman witness Jesus healing his son but his faith did not stop there, in fact he understood Jesus even more. He understood that even though Jesus healed his son now, he will fall sick again in the future. Even if he does not fall sick again, his son will die one day.

That is why he realise the importance of believing in Jesus for eternal life. For only Jesus has eternal life. By believing in Jesus one could enter into eternal life.

The nobleman had heard the miracle of Jesus turning water into wine, he knew that Jesus had the power of God to create things, and now he experience how Jesus could transcend the limitation of time and space. He can heal his son who is 33 km away just by speaking.  The nobleman knew that these are abilities that no man can have as the result he believe that Jesus is God manifested in the flesh

Conclusion

Jesus performed miracles not solely for the need to provide for the physical need of the people. The miracles are done to prove that he is indeed the Christ, the anointed one of God. They are down to prove that Jesus could lead man into everlasting life

The nobleman saw Jesus showing his authority as God. Which is why he believed in the gospel preached by Jesus. He is convince that the gospel preached by Jesus is the true Gospel that can bring one into salvation

The nobleman did not just keep that belief to himself, he led his entire household to believe.

This is important because we will all pass away one day, so everyone needs to enter into eternal life. The only way to receive it is to believe in Jesus. Let us learn to be like the nobleman who led his family to believe, for Jesus had more to offer than just physical benefits.

We may receive healing as a grace from Jesus, but even as we are made well we will fall sick again. The main point is not about having our sickness healed, for Jesus is here to give us eternal life. That is something far more important and far more precious

John had recorded 7 miracles to help us understand that Jesus is the Christ, and we have only covered 2 of the miracles. But are these enough to help us see the fact that he is God?

May God guide us and help us understand it, may we be like this nobleman

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