Last week in our Bible study at Cedar Crest, New Mexico, we finished up John chapter four by reading and considering “a certain royal official” whose son was close to death.
Jesus uses this official’s petition to rebuke those listening to him by saying, “unless you see signs and wonders you will never believe.” The petitioner, more a father than a royal official at this point just pours out his heart and concern at that point, “come down before my child dies!” This is almost like saying, “right now I do not care about your mission or how people are responding to your mission, all I care about is my son who may die at any moment!”
What a love this father has! What a love and wisdom Jesus has!
Jesus know he is going to reach this man through his love for his son. Jesus tells him, “Go your son will live.”
John tells us at this point, “the man took Jesus at his word and departed.” We could say that this man believed at this point. True he believed that he could go and that his son would live. He simply took Jesus as his word on this.
Ahhhh, but later John tells us, ‘the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.’
He had already “taken Jesus at His word,” so what did he believe then? Well, now his son was better, his son was going to live! Now his love and anguish have turned to joy and happiness. Now the father can turn his thoughts back to Jesus. He had to think, “just who is this man that can say, ‘go your son will live’, and my son gets better instead of dying?”
As a royal official I am sure he knew a lot about power and the powerful. He knew how things worked in this world. He knew what separated the royals from the commoners.
Above and beyond that now, he knows Jesus, he knows his power and his authority and his love! So not only does he believe, he explains this to his family, he explains who Jesus has shown himself to be and he and his household believe.
What do they believe? “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31