Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Awesome Outcomes

Does your faith have a positive effect on others?

John 4:43-52  At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee.  44  He Himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown.  45  Yet the Galileans welcomed Him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything He did there.

46  As He traveled through Galilee, He came to Cana, where He had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.  47  When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.

48  Jesus asked, "Will you never believe in Me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?"  49  The official pleaded, "Lord, please come now before my little boy dies."

50  Then Jesus told him, "Go back home. Your son will live!" And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.

51  While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.  52  He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, "Yesterday afternoon at one o'clock his fever suddenly disappeared!" 53  Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, "Your son will live."

Jesus doesn't stay in one place for very long. He didn't waste his time with people that did not react in faith but he didn't stay too long with people that did demonstrate faith. He could have stayed and enjoyed the popularity that he had in Samaria but after a couple of days he moved on.

After the warm welcome that Jesus had among people that were not considered Jewish he went back toward his homeland but once again he didn't encounter people of faith. We don't even get a picture of what his ministry was on that day but we know that they didn't respond.

Time to move on, time to reveal God's love to somebody else, somebody that the Jews would despise. The royal official of Herod's court could be a Gentile or he could have been a Jew that had taken a job working for the government, either way the man was probably despised and rejected.

The official left his home in Capernaum to search for Jesus in Cana. This must have been a last ditch effort to save his son. This guy probably had enough money and the social network to give him access to the best doctors of the day but none of that did any good.
The man seems to have faith that Jesus can heal his son but he doesn't know about Jesus timetable. The verb tense that John uses indicates that he was repeatedly begging Jesus to come to his home and heal his son.

He tries to rush Jesus because he thinks that he needs to get Jesus back to his house. He thought that the travel time could make the difference between life and death for his son. Jesus settles the man's fear by telling him that it is finished, the healing has taken place, Jesus tells him that his son will live. He isn't going to die but does that mean that he is fully healed?

One commentator pointed out to me that the man was traveling home, which was only a day long journey, yet he wasn't home yet when the servants met him the next day. It seems that he really did have extreme faith, it looks like he didn't run home with any anxiousness, I am pretty sure that I would have run home to be sure that my son was okay.
My Faith Affects Others
2 Thessalonians 1:3-4  Dear brothers and sisters, we can't help but thank God for you, because your faith is flourishing and your love for one another is growing. We proudly tell God's other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering.
Most of our prayer time is focused on getting rid of the stuff that makes us uncomfortable and we fail to realize that the uncomfortable stuff is usually the stuff that God is using for our benefit. What if it isn't for our benefit but for the good of somebody in our life? We usually don't consider that the stuff that we don't like is the stuff that God loves to use.

This family and their servants were greatly upset at the thought of losing this boy. The father probably spent a lot of money to see the best doctors in Capernaum. His mom probably cried herself to sleep every night. Somebody probably stayed up with the boy all night. Surely they must have begged some "god" to heal the boy.

These were the worst of times but they were the best of times. Through all of the tears, the grief and the stress a greater good came. The father met Jesus and his reaction to Jesus had an effect on his entire household.

The father believed that Jesus could come to his house and heal his son but Jesus increased his faith and gave him a better understanding of himself so that the man could believe that Jesus could heal him without being there.

Does your faith have an effect on others? Does your faith have a positive effect on others?

All of us have faith that affects others but most of us don't have faith that has a positive effect on others. Too many times we don't put our faith into practice, we beg God to remove the difficulty, we freak out that life isn't going right. This kind of reaction has a negative effect on the people around you that need to grow in faith. They need to see how big your faith is and that you put it to good use.

I need to display faith in every situation because there are people all around me that are watching to see if my faith is good enough to get me through the tough stuff that life throws at me. If my faith fails it can have an effect on many more people than I realize.

Thank you Lord for faith, thank you for the effect that it has had on my household. What a blessing to see that my faith has been contagious and has been passed on to my children. Help me to be strong in faith so that the people around me will see that you are sufficient for every need.