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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

2/9/11 John 4:46-54 Taking Jesus at His Word

And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 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.  48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.”  49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.  54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.

(Healing of Centurion's Servant Paolo Veronese 1528- 1588)

Thoughts: This is similar to the story of the centurion in Matthew 8:5-13- where the centurion in Capernaum asks for his servant to be healed and Jesus heals him at a distance, with the centurion believing in Jesus' authority to heal.  Jesus' authority to command at a distance stands in contrast to the authority of Ben Ali in Tunisia or Hasni Mubarak in Egypt who commanded the people to get off the street, but more came.  When God speaks, things happen.  God says, "Let there be light!" and there was light. Jesus says, "Be still!" and the wind and the waves stop. He says, "Lazarus come out!"  And the dead man rises.  In John, the Word of God is tied to the power of God- which is found in the power of Jesus and His Word as well.  The implication is plain- we should, like this royal official (and the centurion of Matthew) take Jesus at His Word, for it is powerful.

Prayer: Give me grace, O Lord, to take you at your Word- acting on what you have said in scripture.

John Calvin Commentary Abridged: This was probably a royal official of Herod's court.  He believed that the life of his son was wrapped up in a single word of Christ.  We should learn from this that God's power is available whenever He promises us something. 

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