JUST TAKE HIS WORD FOR IT!
And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 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…Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (John 4:46-50)
Here was a member of the court of Herod Antipas. The gospel writers give us the general impression that people associated with the royal court were not very spiritually oriented. But this man turned to Jesus in his time of desperate need. His son was lying near death. He had heard of Jesus’ power and the miracles he had performed. Perhaps he had even witnessed something Jesus had done. His only hope was that Jesus would take pity on him. He traveled from Capernaum to Cana to find Jesus and then he repeatedly begged Jesus to come to Capernaum and heal his son. Jesus challenged what faith the man had. He did not agree to go to Capernaum but he told the man that his son would recover and live. The sign of the man’s faith is found in John’s simple statement, “The man took Jesus at his word and departed.”
I’m impressed. Here is a man who was a courtier of a wicked king who would participate in plotting the death of Jesus. I’m impressed by the work of the Holy Spirit who cannot be prevented from reaching into the lives of the most unreachable. I’m impressed by the grace and mercy of God, that it would find a man in that court and touch his life. I’m impressed that such a man would “take Jesus at his word.” There was much at stake for him and he believed Jesus and went on his way.
I think there are many Christian people who have a hard time taking Jesus at his word. How much different would our lives be if we could just accept Jesus’ word for things? We struggle with doubt and fear when Jesus has said that he will always be with us. He told us that he came so we would have abundant life yet we wrestle with stress and anxiety. Can we learn to take him at his word?
One other thing. Not only do we have a hard time accepting Jesus at his word, we also add to or take away from his word. We have his word in our Bibles but we sometimes act like Thomas Jefferson and cut out the parts that are hard to understand or that sound harsh to unbelieving ears. We soften his word. We try to make it easier to digest. If only we could learn to let the power of Jesus’ word carry the day! Let him speak to our lives and to our communities in his own words and then just take him at his word!
I am the bread of life. I am the light of the world. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the resurrection and the life. I am the Good Shepherd.