No Other Name Week 2: Healing a Sick Boy
On Sunday we continued our new series in John by looking at John 4 when Jesus heals the official’s son. Pastor Dan pointed out that John talks about belief and life in this passage.
The official in John 4 had heard of Jesus and he believed He could heal his son. He went to meet Jesus and asked for healing. Jesus told him that his son lived, and the man took Him at His word. He believed. In North America and the Western world in general, we often think of faith or belief as something we do with our minds. For example, when we talk about believing in Jesus, we often talk in terms of believing that it is true that He is God’s Son, that He died and rose again. We acknowledge our belief that those things are true. But the Hebrew understanding of belief — the way John, and Jesus and the official would have thought about it — is more related to entrusting. Ultimately, it means confidence to act. Like we talked about last week, we act by entrusting our lives to Jesus. It’s more than just saying we believe the right things, it’s stepping out and walking in His way alongside Him. The Jewish philosopher Abraham Joshua Heschel talked about faith as “a leap of action rather than a leap of thought.”
This is what we see from the official. He goes to Jesus, He asks Him to heal, and then he entrusts the life of his son to Jesus in faith. We see John affirm this combination of belief and action often. When we look at the book of 1 John it is full of reminders that our love for Jesus is expressed by walking as Jesus did.
Pastor Dan also talked about how we can come to Jesus when we’re desperate — He offers us life! The official in John came to Jesus and asked for what he needed. He was desperate for his son’s life and he went to the one person who could help him. Whenever I read the Bible, I am always amazed at how much God allows and invites us to ask things of Him over and over. For example, we see Abraham bargaining with God over the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. When Abraham challenges God’s promise about giving him a son, God willingly cuts a covenant with Abraham as a sign that He will be faithful. The wanderings in the desert (Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers) are filled with times that God is fed up with the Israelites, and Moses talks with God until He relents. In the book of Judges, Gideon needs prompting to step out in faith and God generously gives him sign after sign. In the New Testament, a Canaanite woman shows “chutzpah” and Jesus rewards her persistence.
God allows us to ask, to plead, to even argue. And sometimes it is in the asking and the repetition and the desperation that our faith grows deeper. We move out of the shallow and into the plunging depths of grace. We move beyond the signs and toward the entrusting of our lives to Jesus who provides for all of our needs.
So, as Pastor Dan asked us on Sunday: What are you most desperate to see changed in your life? Present it to Jesus. Ask Him again. Plead with Him to show you His truth. Believe and live.
If you have any questions about Jesus and what it means to entrust your life to Him, always feel free to call us at the church or stop in to talk with one of our staff.