45. Please Help

Short Meditations in John 4:  45. Please Help

Jn 4:47  When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

Pride, we noted previously, is a personal characteristic which often keeps people from coming to Jesus to seek help. We think we can get by on our own and some even think that asking for help is a sign of weakness – well, it is, because there are times in life when we are weak. Sadly so many of us feel sufficiently strong in ourselves that we don’t seek out the Lord (and I am including Christians here) and so we don’t come to Him and receive all the good things He has for us. Our ‘strength’ means we remain poor. Yes, the sad truth is that so often it takes a crisis in our lives to get us to face the truth about ourselves – we need the Lord!

So here we have this royal official, a man who no doubt most of the time felt quite superior, but whose bubble of pride has been burst by the prick of anguish for his son who appears to be near to dying. We aren’t told exactly what is wrong with him but whatever it is, is really serious and life threatening. Life threats are probably the best wake-up calls in life. Suddenly our strength is as nothing as we are faced with that one thing we can do nothing about – death.

In the verse above we see two things that indicate the depth of this man’s anguish for his son. First, and we noted this previously, he lived in Capernaum and Jesus was in Cana, some miles away, but as soon as he hears that Jesus has returned to Galilee his desperation makes him pack up and get over to Cana as quickly as he can.

The second indicator of his state of desperation is that we are told that he begged Jesus to come back to Capernaum with him to heal his son. Begging or pleading is an indication of our serious desperation – Lord, please, please, please, come and heal him!

Now here we are about to touch on something very significant about this situation and it may be the most significant thing about it. In Matthew we read of a centurion in Capernaum who came to Jesus to ask him to heal his servant and when Jesus offered to come to heal him, the man said, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed,” (Mt 8:8) indicating an understanding and faith level far higher than we find here in our present situation.

Here is the key question: do we limit Jesus in our expectations of him so, as in the present case we need him to be physically there, or do we realise that as the Son of God he simply needs to speak a word and space and distance are irrelevant. It doesn’t mater how far away he is, it just needs his word. He is God! How do we limit him?

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