What If . . .

Vol. 3 No. 9 – John 5:1-23 (3.11.2018)
Sir, please come now before my son dies. – John 4:46-54
A number of words in the English language produce anxiety; one of the more blatant combinations is: What If?

What if I have a major car accident? What if I develop a serious illness; or have a major surgery? What if my parents and my wife’s parents die? What if my son is pronounced terminal at the hospital? (I have experienced some of these.)
The wealthy government official for King Herod was not asking “what if” so much as the more serious, “what now?

From the home town in Capernaum, the distressed parents took their son to the top of the line physicians in Palestine. They, as was customary in their culture, probably spent time in the mountains of Hermon, with a sought after healing waters. In their hearts, they knew that death is no respecter of persons: rich/poor, young/old, olive-color/white, man/woman – tragedy and great sorrow can strike at any place at any time.

What now?

Urgency of need demands action. The anxious father traveled some 20 miles (four hours at a brisk pace – more for me). He sought help from a carpenter of Nazareth (can that be right; does that make sense?). However, this carpenter is called the Miracle Worker. If this did not work, the nobleman would be returning to Capernaum to plan a funeral. Desperation drives a person; desperation brings a person to stick their pride in their pocked. The nobleman headed southwest.

In the little village of Cana, royalty humbles himself before Jesus and BEGS Him to go to Capernaum for a house-call, to touch the fevered body of his son. I have had the personal experience of begging God for the life of my own son.

It is inadvisable to dictate to God the method, means, or timing which He should employ.
What we have to come to is to trust the Son of God enough to allow Him to operate in whatever way He chooses to bring His best to the life of one we love and to our own feeble hearts.

That is often a tough order for us!

Jesus replies: Sir, do you believe in Me without seeing the results?

This father, with fervor and passion, that connotes desperation, pleads with Jesus. Now there is a spark of faith bursting forth into a fierce flame: “Lord, I believe . . . do Your thing!”

Then Jesus instructs him to return to his home, that his son is already healed. With those words, it was not a case of: It may be true; it could be true; I guess it is true, or I heard it is true. It is a case of: It is true! The Miracle Worker, Jesus, said it, I believe it that settles it!

Tough circumstances change; people living by faith do not change. Imperfect faith, growing faith, and then a faith tested.

You need to grab your Bible and read this brief account. Like a resurrection hymn, there are three times a set of words ring out: Your son (Son) lives! It is like healing by remote control for all you readers that live in a high-tech environment.

I wonder, if we were to ask the nobleman if the experience of anguish, heartache, and disappointment is worthwhile, his immediate response would be, absolutely! To see at God’s point of time how He uses His grace in the lives of our loved ones is an experience that cannot be surpassed.

The nobleman believed; then his whole family (4:53).

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. – Romans 10:17

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

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