Can You Take Him For His Word?

We live in a world where unfortunately trust among people seems to be diminishing. We used to be able to take someone for their word and trust that word which was spoken.

“Taking someone’s word for it” is an idiom defined as “believing that something is true because someone tells you it is, without making sure that it really is true.”

Hmmm…sure sounds a bit like it parallels the definition of faith which is “confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof.”

Taking someone for their word can be quite challenging these days…wouldn’t you agree?

We may be challenged in taking someone for their word because of our lack of trust for one reason or another.

Due to this lack of trust we tend to look to signed contracts…binding documents…witnessed agreements to provide us with a sense of security and to satisfy our desire for integrity, honesty and truth.

John 4:46-54 is a great passage that truly exemplifies what it means to take a man for his word…and not just any man…but Jesus.

46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

Through careful examination of these scriptures we can see a man’s faith growing right in front of our eyes…a great example for our own faith and what it really means to trust Jesus!

Beginning Faith

Verses 46-47 demonstrate the beginning faith of this royal official. He had a desperate need…his son was very sick to the point of death.

What do you do when you have a desperate need? Do you have a desperate need today?

This royal official must have heard that Jesus had healed people in Jerusalem and learning that Jesus had returned to Galilee…the royal official went to Him. Oh and FYI…this man had to walk approximately 20 miles to see Jesus! Talk about demonstrating not only his desperation…but also his faith…his beginning faith.

47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him…

Persistent Faith

Vs 47-49 demonstrate the persistent faith of the royal official. He begged Jesus to come and heal his son.

…he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

The imperfect tense of the verb “begged” (erota, from erotao, to “ask” or “request”) implies repeated or persistent action. The request was not casual but insistent.

Look at Jesus’ response to the royal official’s request! The royal official interestingly continued to beg Jesus to come and heal his son because he had faith in Jesus’ healing power.

Are you persistent in your faith? Or do you begin losing faith when you have not yet seen your prayers answered…when you have not yet seen a miraculous sign as a prerequisite to believing…like Jesus claims in vs 48?

Trusting Faith

Vs 50-51 illustrate a remarkable example of the royal official’s faith growing to a trusting faith. Even though the royal official begged Jesus to physically come to his sick son…Jesus did not go to the sick boy…He just stated that the boy will live and told the royal official to go home.

50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.

The royal official was challenged in his faith…who wouldn’t be? Jesus doesn’t go with him and instead simply states “Go your son will live.”

But the royal official clearly demonstrates a trusting faith because he took Jesus at his word and departed. He trusted that Jesus could do what He claimed. He didn’t ask questions…he didn’t doubt.

Do you take Jesus for His word? Or do you question and doubt Him?

Not only did the royal official believe Jesus could heal…but he demonstrated obedience by returning home. He showed trusting faith by his actions.

Do you show trusting faith by your actions?

The royal official first believed…then he saw the miraculous healing of his son!

We may often say we believe Jesus can do this or do that…but we need to act as if He can! Jesus’ word alone is enough for us to trust Him!

Confirming Faith

Vs 51-53 confirm the royal official’s faith. Note that vs 51 says while he was still on the way.

51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

This is so profound! The royal official was in the act of obeying Jesus when he received the news that his prayer was answered. Thus proving that belief and obedience are both necessary and important in our growing faith.

Note also that the royal official confirmed the supernatural vs. the natural. He asked the exact hour his son recovered (1pm in the afternoon). He wanted to be certain…he wanted absolute confirmation…he was reaching out for stronger faith in Jesus.

Have you ever experienced confirming faith? Do you want a stronger faith in Jesus?

Witnessing Faith

Vs 53 demonstrates the witnessing faith of the royal official. He witnessed to his whole house and they all believed!

53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.

Do you demonstrate a witnessing faith when Jesus answers your prayers? Is it hard for you to witness your faith to others?

Now I am quite sure that witnessing for Jesus was not easy for this royal official. He was a high official who would definitely face ridicule and persecution…and perhaps loss of position and even loss of life.

But his faith was a witnessing faith. He loved Jesus for what Jesus had done for him and he wanted others to know Jesus’ glorious salvation.

Where is your faith at today? Is your faith growing?

This passage about the royal official’s faith truly exemplifies the kind of faith we should all desire. And if you noticed…the royal official’s faith grew as he used his faith.

No matter where we are at in our faith….no matter what stage of faith we are in…we must use our faith to see it grow…we must put our faith to action to see it grow.

And in a world where taking a man’s word can be challenging…we can most certainly count on taking Jesus word…because His word is always be true!

Let’s be encouraged today to have greater trust in Jesus and take Him for His word!

Reflection Points:

  1. What do you do when you have a desperate need? Do you have a desperate need today?
  2. Are you persistent in your faith? Or do you begin losing faith when you have not seen a prayer answered?
  3. Do you take Jesus for His word? Or do you question and doubt Him? Do you show trusting faith by your actions?
  4. Have you ever experienced confirming faith? Do you want a stronger faith in Jesus?
  5. Do you demonstrate a witnessing faith when Jesus answers your prayers? Is it hard for you to witness your faith to others?

Action Points:

  1. Whatever needs we may have today, we should first turn to Jesus. Our family and friends can provide comfort but Jesus not only provides comfort and encouragement…but also provides the answers.
  2. Jesus wants us to be persistent in our requests to Him. When we look to Him persistently it shifts our focus off of our problems and ourselves …and on Him.
  3. Jesus can always be taken for His word and we can show how much we trust Him through our actions.
  4. Belief and obedience are both necessary and important in our growing faith. We must believe first…then we will see the miracle! Not the other way around!
  5. Jesus wants us to demonstrate witnessing faith. He wants us to share our faith with others. We can show our gratitude and thanks to Jesus by witnessing what he has done in our lives with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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