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Posts Tagged ‘John 2’

It never ceases to amaze me how often words of Scripture can jump out at us and impact us all over again, even if we have read them many times before. They may challenge us deeply and perhaps even make us a little uncomfortable, but what a privilege to receive these reminders over and over and know they come from the hand of our loving, patient Lord!

One day recently, I finished reading Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well but decided to continue a little further in the same chapter. And there I found the wonderful story of the royal official in Cana in Galilee who asks Jesus to come and heal his son (John 4:43-54). At first, Jesus seems reluctant, but the official still insists he do just that.

Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”

The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” John 4:49

Jesus then responds with a brief but huge statement of promise—and, lo and behold, the official takes him at his word and immediately leaves.

Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.”

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. John 4:50

Wow! Jesus’ few words hold such power and authority—but the official’s simple, unquestioning obedience made me sit up as well. Perhaps he was among those who had witnessed Jesus in action in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast when he cleared the traders and moneychangers out of the temple and also performed miracles (John 2; 4:45). Yet, whether this is true or not, to me, this official’s firm belief in Jesus’ promise that his son will be healed speaks volumes. Would I have been as ready to trust Jesus as he was? Would I have perhaps still begged him to come and actually lay hands on my son? Or would I have headed home heart-in-mouth, half-filled with hope and half with huge doubts?

He does not get far, however, before his servants meet him with the news that his son is now better. Then he also discovers that the boy became well at the exact time Jesus had said his son would live.

And this is the point in the story where I received my second simple yet huge challenge that morning. All John writes in the next sentence is the following:

So he and his whole household believed. John 4:53b

Just like that, this official and his family believe in Jesus. Would that have been my response? Or would I have perhaps been tempted to rationalise things and not be too hasty about it all?

Somehow, I think this whole event has jolted me into remembering how powerful and trustworthy Jesus truly is and how much more I need to take him at his word. If he says something will happen, it will happen. He does not lie or break his promise. If he tells us to do something, we had better do it—because Jesus, after all, is the Son of God. If Jesus says it, that settles it!

And when he answers our requests today for healing or provision or whatever else, as he always does, it surely is up to us to believe and give him our love and full allegiance, all over again, don’t you think?

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Jo 17Is there some particular virtue or positive personality trait you truly admire and wish you could demonstrate more often? Perhaps you’ve noticed it in others and felt ashamed you had so little of it. It could be kindness. Or generosity. Or patience. Or loyalty. Or, as in my case … um … a good, healthy dose of humility!

I am in the right profession, I believe, to acquire more of this commodity. After all, it doesn’t take long as a writer to discover not everyone is going to like one’s books. This is quite understandable—especially given I myself am choosy about what books I read. Yet, being a published author can also add to one’s sense of consequence at times. I admit there is something nice about seeing my name on a book cover. And it is always gratifying to hear how readers have enjoyed or been moved by my books. This is fine, I guess—providing I don’t allow myself to become puffed up with pride and providing I remember God is the source of any gifts or abilities I might have.

At a recent training day, I noticed how some wise Christian leaders I have known for years conducted themselves with great humility. They did not seek any real acknowledgement. Instead, they seemed sincerely interested in everyone around them and spoke to them with gentleness and grace. Add this to several examples I have noticed lately in Scripture and—well, I get the message!

In Mark 5, I read how Jesus healed the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. Heedless of his own reputation, Jesus cared enough about this ostracised woman to speak gracious, affirming words to her and heal her. He then raised up the synagogue ruler’s daughter, even after those present laughed at him when he maintained she was only asleep. As we read on, we see how Jesus, after sending the people away and allowing only the child’s parents and his disciples into the room, ‘gave strict orders not to let anyone know’ what had happened (5:43). Did those who laughed ever discover what actually unfolded or honour Jesus at all for this miracle?

Next, I read John 2, where Jesus changed the water into wine at the wedding in Cana. To me, this seemed to be done quietly and with minimum fuss, since only the servants knew where that wine had come from. Yes, we are told ‘his disciples put their faith in him’ as a result (2:11), but did that master of the banquet or the bridegroom ever discover who was responsible for such an amazing miracle, let alone believe in Jesus?

Then I read in Luke 17:11-19 how ten lepers received healing, after Jesus spoke to them and sent them to the priests. Yet only one, a Samaritan, returned to thank him and to praise God. Did those other nine ever acknowledge what Jesus had done for them? Yet Jesus’ only concern seems to be that they did not see the need to return and give praise to God (17:18) for their healing.

Yes, such humility is a huge challenge to me—but oh so appealing and important, don’t you think?

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

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