“Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son lives.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living… and he himself believed and his whole household. This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee” (John 4:50-51,53-54, NASB).
While Jesus was in Cana of Galilee, a royal official from Capernaum approached Jesus and asked Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son who was dying. Rather than accompanying the official the twenty miles to Capernaum, Jesus declared the boy was healed: “Go, your son lives” (vs. 50) and the man believed the words that Jesus spoke and returned to Capernaum on his own.
During the trip back to Capernaum, the official’s servants met him along the way and told him his son had recovered from his illness. The man asked the servants when the boy began to get better and it was at the same time that Jesus had declared his healing.
I believe in miracles. I believe miracles happen today. I believe God still heals people today.
When my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer, I believed God would heal her. After all, we had two young children to raise. I prayed and believed all during her illness even up to the day before she died that God would heal her. After all, God wouldn’t have given us those two children to raise and then allow her to die. But, when she did, I accepted it as God’s will, yet certainly with a lot of questions that mostly began with the word, “Why.”
As I read this story, I have to wonder why this man’s son was healed and my wife wasn’t. After all, I was a believer, a follower of Jesus, and this man wasn’t. Why did God perform a miracle of healing in his family and not in mine?
I can’t explain why God supernaturally intervenes in some situations and not in others. But, I can tell you how God has answered my incessant “Why” questions.
The difference in God’s response to the request of the royal official in this story and my request is in the destination, the place where God was leading each of us: faith or faithfulness.
Jesus was showing this royal official the way to faith and the miracle was a sign pointing the way. Prior to performing this miracle Jesus stated, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe” (vs. 48). Jesus was pointing him in the direction of faith. So the moral of the story was not that the official’s son was healed, but that “he himself believed and his whole household” (vs. 53).
No, faith isn’t the end of your journey with God through this world; it’s only the beginning. And, when you journey farther down the faith road, faithfulness is the place where you will arrive.
Faithfulness is the place God wants you to go. Because faithfulness is an attribute of God and it is what is going to carry you through this world and into eternity, into eternal fellowship with God.
Faithfulness is the place you go when you have no place else to go and you have to trust completely in God. In fact, the sign over the entrance to Faithfulness says “Total Surrender.” The road to get there is bumpy and often treacherous. And, it’s a place occupied by desperate people.
And, it’s the place where God was sending me…
So, God answered both of our prayers for healing. The official’s son was healed and my wife was taken to heaven where she is whole and no longer suffering.
Yet “healing” wasn’t God’s answer either to the royal official or to me. The royal official got faith, I got faithfulness!
“Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.(Psalm 37:3, NASB).
- The Road From Faith to Faithfulness, Part 2: Happy Endings – John 4:46-53 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)