Seeing and Believing

Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. Then the father realized that this [his son’s healing] was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.
John 4:50, 53, NIV*

I was always amazed at how this father, some sort of royal official, could accept Jesus’ abrupt dismissal and promise of healing and just go. He was an important person, probably used to special treatment. He came to Jesus begging for his son’s life—already something beneath his position—and he’d asked Jesus to come with him.

Jesus didn’t even send one of His disciples along as a representative!

The man’s strength of faith made me miss a deeper point until now: Jesus originally told him, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders…you will never believe.” (John 4:48, NIV*)

I never understood why Jesus would say this here. After all, the man wasn’t demanding a sign like Jesus’ opponents so often did. He was pleading for his son’s life.

The man came because he wanted something. But it wasn’t until he received that miracle that he was open to receive the full package of who Jesus is. To move from believing what He could do to believing who He truly is.

To see what the miracle actually meant. It testified that this itinerant Rabbi could command the power of God.

How many times do I come to Him for what He can do for me—for what I want Him to do—instead of for Who He is?

Father, You invite us to come boldly, and to bring our prayers, petitions and praises. But too many times they’re the only reason I come. You didn’t reconcile me to Yourself just to listen to my prayer list. You drew me back into fellowship with You. Relationship. Sometimes the needs are huge. But my need of You is central. If you were to never answer another prayer, I’d still need to be in Your presence.

Let “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” by Paul Baloche, be our song and our prayer today.

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Seeing and Believing

  1. Ginny Jaques

    “If you were to never answer another prayer, I’d still need to be in Your presence.” This one sentence, alone, is a keeper. I’ll be meditating on it today.

    1. janetsketchley

      I have to keep reminding myself of this one, Ginny. He’s already given us so much by rescuing us, and He invites us to keep asking, but more than the answers we need Him. Blessings to you!

  2. Margaret

    Thank you for this post, Janet….. Our Lord is so gracious in answering our prayers, even when they aren’t as “appropriate” or “well-put” as they should be in the presence of the holy, Almighty LORD….. It’s sort of like us listening to little children just learning to talk….. We set aside their inability to ask correctly, and just lovingly make out what it is that they need — and then provide for their needs….. God is good.

    1. janetsketchley

      Margaret, what a beautiful reassurance! We do want to try our best to express our needs and our trust, but our best efforts sometimes fall far short. Isn’t God good indeed, to look past our outward awkwardness into our hearts? Blessings!


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