Short Meditations in John 4: 48. Trusting without seeing
Jn 4:50 Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
We ended a previous meditation from 1 Peter “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet 1:8,9) As a young Christian I sought to lead another young person to the Lord but they resisted. I prayed and prayed and nothing happened. Eventually I complained to God and said (as a young Christian!!!) “How can I believe in you if you don’t turn up when I pray?” The next day was a Sunday and at the Sunday morning service, a Crusader Bible Study birthday in the afternoon, and at an evangelistic service in a little chapel in the evening, each speaker based what they were saying on those two verses in 1 Peter 1. All of them!! Coincidence, or God did that for me???? I got the message!
It’s all about trusting Jesus without seeing. This royal official has come this distance to see Jesus and has pleaded with Jesus to come to Capernaum and heal his child. Jesus has put up a challenge about only believing when you see miracles and has now just said, “Your son will live.” Something about Jesus, something about his words, satisfied this man that it was true. He had had no message from home confirming it yet, but he believed it and so departed.
When we were considering the Samaritans early in this chapter, we noted the difference between them hearing words about Jesus and words from Jesus, and we said then that when God speaks it is something different. When Jesus speaks, faith is imparted to the open hearted. But there is the key – the open hearted. As a very young believer, only a month or so old, I heard those three ‘words’ and they came from God, and I rested, I trusted that God had answered and was basically saying, “Son, I want you to learn to believe without having to see.” Later I would come across the verse, “We live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor 5:7)
There is obviously now, a fundamental lesson here. We cannot ‘see’ God and indeed our ‘hearing’ Him is limited but we are still called to believe in Him and trust Him. When we pray, sometimes we’ll get to a point where it seems that heaven is responding, “It is done,” but we don’t yet see an answer in the material world. It may be about a loved one coming to Him, it may be about a healing, it may be about a dozen and one other things but at the end of it, if we sense God has spoken then all it remains for us to do is rest in it and be thankful and just wait in confidence for the thing to be seen – and give thanks. Faith. Trust.