Whatever It Takes

Text: John 4:43-54
Theme: Sometimes Jesus did signs and wonders to help people believe in Him.
Key verses: “…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” (v. 46b-50). “Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, ‘Your son will live.’ And he and his entire household believed in Jesus” (v. 53).
What God said to me: Son, I’ll do whatever it takes to help people believe in me. Jesus died on the cross to demonstrate his love for you; but first, he lived and walked among you, doing all kinds of wondrous miracles. Why would we do it like that? Why not just send an angel down to heal everyone? Jesus was representing his Father in heaven. He was demonstrating his love and authority and power. But more than that he had come to seek and to save those who were lost. Thus, he went out of his way to heal people and show them his deity so that they would believe in him. In this passage you can see the two stages of belief again demonstrated. However, this time they are reversed in their order. First, the official heard from Jesus that his son would be healed. It caused him to believe what Jesus said. However, when his servants told him his son really had been healed, then he believed in Jesus. At that moment his belief went from his head down to his heart. No longer did he only believe what Jesus had said–he now believed in Jesus, when he heard what Jesus had clearly done. You see, Dwayne, just when you think you have this salvation thing figured out–just when you think you know how I work in people and what should cause them to respond–my Word goes and messes up your thinking. I will do whatever it takes–even if it necessitates going out of a normal order–to reach people whom I love. Obviously Jesus would rather that official had believed in him by simply hearing the words Jesus spoke. But Jesus was patient with him, realizing that man needed to see more than just hear. He showed the same kind of love and patience with Thomas, who had to touch his nail-pierced scars to truly believe. Are you glad we are patient with you to that extent at times, Dwayne? Are you glad we do whatever it takes to draw you closer to our side and deeper into our love and faith? Pass some of that patience and determination along to people around you today.
What I said to God: Once again, Lord, out of left field comes a zinger throw from Your powerful and unpredictable Spirit. I never saw that one coming. What an amazing and glorious truth! What love and patience You have for us, that You would go to such measures to pursue us and to save us and sanctify us. I know You won’t be untrue to Your character. I know You won’t compromise on Your justice and truth. But I also know that You will never stop surprising us with the depths of Your love and the determination of Your grace. Thank You, thank You, thank You! I praise You for never giving up on me or my family. What an awesome God You are.