Written by: Jolene Combs
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God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield
for all who look to him for protection.
- Psalm 18:30
He had it all. Mansions, chariots, servants, authority, wealth. The question could be asked, what else does he really need?
We don’t know his name. He is simply referred to as “a government official” (John 4:46). He had worked his whole life to achieve this title. He attended the best schools. He connected with all the right people. He knew how to do his job and he did it well.
That was until his world started crumbling.
This official had everything and to top it all off he had the perfect family. A wife and a son whom he adored more than anything that a title or wealth could bring him. I like to imagine that his son was young, maybe seven or eight. The age when their imagination was ripest and their love deepest for his father. I like to think that this official was the type of man who actually made quality time for his family.
Any parent though, no matter the amount of time spent with family, would be just as desperate as we find our government official in this story.
John paints a sad picture in verse 47, “he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.” (emphasis mine) This is not a casual request or a suggestion of something that perhaps Jesus could do if He just happened to have the time. This official, this high, mighty, and wealthy man is begging at the feet of a simple carpenter. What compels someone of that high rank to lower himself to beg?
It has to be because this official had seen Jesus work before. In verse 46 it says that Jesus “came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine.” The official was from Capernaum which is only 16 miles from Cana. Word traveled fast and I can only imagine that the official had heard of Jesus’ first miracle of saving a wedding by turning their abundance of water into a vast supply of wine.
If Jesus had compassion enough to supply wine for a poorly planned wedding feast, wouldn’t He be willing to save a young boy from the brink of death? Wouldn’t that be your rationale if you were the official?
With the Savior’s promise of providing wine ringing in his ears, the official made the 16 mile trip to beg Jesus to do something -- anything. Their conversation is very short, just an exchange of a few sentences. But if the Bible stories prove anything, it’s that our Promise Keeper doesn’t need our ramblings to perform His miracles.
“The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.” (vs. 49, emphasis mine). Here we see again his desperation seeping through every word he utters. If there ever was a case of life and death standing before him, this was it.
Jesus’ response is beautiful and simple. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Go back home. Your son will live!’” (vs. 50) That’s it! There was no flash of light from Heaven. No utterance of thunder to confirm a miracle had just been performed. It was said, and it was done by the same exact voice that spoke the stars into existence.
What may be just as beautiful is the response, or lack thereof, from the official. “And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.” (vs. 50) He didn’t question because he believed. He didn’t hesitate because he believed. And because he believed his son was brought back from the brink of death.
When was the last time you took the Promise Keeper at His word? When was the last time you remembered the way He’d promised and provided in the past and stepped forward knowing that He’s going to do the same for you today?
1. What are some Bible promises you can cling to when life is crumbling around you?
2. In what ways has God provided in your past that you can write down and remember for whenever that moment of devastation strikes?
Father, my faith in Your promises sometimes falls short. Remind me, daily, of Your past promises and their fulfillment in my life so that I may be strengthened to face my struggles of the day.
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