THE MAN BELIEVED THE WORD
John 4:43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. 45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.
After the two days that the Lord spent with the believers in Samaria (vs.40,43), he comes back to Cana of Galilee. And the issue of the Holy Spirit at this time is revealed in His dealings with a certain nobleman, whose title and wealth could not protect his family from the same sicknesses that come upon the poor. But there is something unique about this nameless nobleman. One of the very first things we learn of him, after he is introduced to us on the pages of God’s holy word, is that it was by hearing that he learned the Lord Jesus was in his area! For verse forty seven states, When he heard! Such a small and faint hint of this man’s heart, which the Lord God had given him. But let us keep in mind that the Lord has assigned two effectual things to every one of his sheep – hearing ears and following feet! John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And now let us see just how he who will not break bruised reed faith, nor quench smoking flax faith, deals with him to bring him on to the victory of faith (Matt. 12:20). And first of all we see that the Lord makes himself available to this father. Surely you cannot imagine that he and the Lord Jesus were the only two walking down the road that day! There had to have been throngs of people surrounding the Lord and the disciples, including many who also surely needed his healing attention. But this is the soul whom the Lord had predestined the times before appointed and the bounds of his habitation, in order that he should find him that day. (Acts 17:26,27). This man was the very focus of the purposes of God for this hour. This was indeed the time of his visitation! (Luke 19:44).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. And he is the “God said,” of Genesis 1:3. For we read of Him in Hebrews 11:3, Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God,…And as he spoke the world into existence, so he uses his word to speak spiritual life into a soul! 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
And we need to always avail ourselves to the “hearing of faith.” Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? For salvation is not by religious works, but solely by God’s imparted grace. And he imparts faith through the grace of his effectual word!
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
But here our Lord does something that the religionists of the present day would not believe their “Jesus” (2 Cor. 11:4), to be capable of. He challenges the motivation of the man. For today, any and every motivation that can bring in additional members to the religious order is used. But in the last part of verse forty seven the man is speaking of his son’s critical condition; even being at the point of death. And what is the Lord’s response? Basically he says in the following verse, “You are just using this situation as an opportunity to get me to preform a miracle in order to entertain you!”
Dear Reader, there is no true faith that is not a tried and tested faith! 1Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
And this is how it has always been with the Lord God! Deuteronomy 8:2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.
For we certainly don’t expect the child to constantly be laying in bed, clothed with a diaper when it is several years old! No! We expect, and well we should, that infant to grow up. He is to gradually add more mature traits to his life as he progresses in growth. And so is the believing soul! 2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; For the evidence of life is growth! Then the Apostle Peter lists a number of things that are progressively added to the experience of the believer that show by these fruits just what sort of root he has! Salvation is not to be had by good works. (Ephesians 2:8,9). But it most assuredly is to be identified, after being issued forth by grace, by the good works that are ordained of God! (Ephesians 2:10).
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
And did our nameless nobleman have these evidences? Well, first, let us recall just what his response was to the Lord’s trial of his faith. He made no direct response to the matter of miracles as Nicodemus had done. For that ruler of the Jews misidentified the Lord in that assessment. The soul stirring from the affect of miracles led him to call the Lord, a teacher come from God. But he was actually God come to teach! So the spirit of our nobleman was different in its awareness of the Lord Jesus. For he makes no issue of the miracles. He just fastens on the issue that was used to draw him to the presence of the Lord! He pursues his pressing of the Lord concerning the urgent issue of his son’s life! Listen to him as he returns to the issue of his faith: Sir, come down ere my child die.
If you will but read the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews you will find that everyone listed therein had a different issue of faith. Sarah’s was not the same as Abraham’s. Abraham’s was not the same as Noah’s. And Noah’s was not the same as Abel’s, or Enoch’s. All had the same God. All had the same faith. But each had a different issue of faith! And that is exactly why the Lord commands each and every believer to walk in a personal and individual faith in him! Romans 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
The just shall live by his own individually imparted issuance of faith! We all seem to want to ‘bunch up’ with anyone else’s issue in these days! There is hardly an individual left who is content with simply walking with God in the issue of his own faith! 1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
And secondly, our nobleman does the one thing which is absolutely essential in receiving the thing for which he trusted! He obeyed the word of the Master! What did the Lord command him? Go thy way; thy son liveth. And just what was it that the nobleman did? And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. “Trust and obey; for there’s no other way!” He went his way as the Lord commanded, believing the word! For he was doing what he had been instructed, which reveals his trust in both the command, and in Commanding Word Himself! He went “his way,” for “his way” was God’s way! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Nothing strengthens faith like obedience! Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
And “evangelism,” – true and pure – has been accomplished by the Holy Spirit ‘forwarding’ the gospel on to others hearts, from one who is obeying it while speaking of the grace of Christ to themselves. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
The Lord warned us all of those in places of religious authority who only “say,” but “do not!” Matt. 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Those who quote the scriptures, but do not live the scriptures even deceive themselves! James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. ‘Christian education’ without the Spirit’s revelation, has done more than anything else to destroy the unction among us, leaving us without the spiritual organism, but with only a religious organization with which to contend.
The gospel is actually defined as that which Jesus began both to do and teach. (Acts 1:1). And the Lord’s command to his disciples to go forth to preach the gospel, was only to be preached to others while they were obeying all that Christ had commanded them! Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: Therefore we read that the believing nobleman made it known, by his obedience to his whole house the very hour and the very words of the Lord Jesus! Hence they came to know what was happening when the head of their house was in the presence of the Lord Jesus, as they, at that very same time, were seeing the fever break for the son’s recovery back home! Therefore the very words of the Lord Jesus to the nobleman – Thy son liveth – are the very words in the servant’s mouth; And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. And these were also those in the very heart of the nobleman! So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.
Dear Reader, everything that has ever been sustained, down through the centuries, has been kept by the power of the word of God! Therefore we all would do well to establish our faith on this sure foundation!
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Pastor Gene Breed February 14, 2014