S: Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home. John 4:50 (NLT)
O: It is easy to read past some things in Scripture (sometimes our familiarity with the passage can be a barrier to fresh revelation, so we must always approach God’s Word with prayer and help from Holy Spirit to understand), but I can’t help thinking about the reality of this man’s world – the unrecorded hours – between verses 50 and 51.
Nothing here in verse 50 gives evidence of a miracle – only Jesus saying to the man, “Go back home. Your son will live!” There is no recording of a flash of lightning, roll of thunder, or any other tangible reason for the man to believe Jesus other than the audible words uttered from His lips. We know, too, that this was not a quick and easy trip for the government official, about 20-25 miles, and we can safely conclude (based on v. 52) that he had to bed down for the night at some point. So what happened in the hours in between?
Did the man toss and turn all night? Could he sleep at all? Was he wrestling all night with doubt and fear? Or was there a peace about him? Did he sleep soundly? Was there something about the way Jesus spoke those four words, “Your son will live!” that brought comfort and stillness to his spirit, like a blanket of reassurance?
A: I’ve experienced both, maybe you have too. I’ve struggled against the voices of doubt and fear; their taunting keeping me awake at night. And I’ve rested peacefully, reassured by the confidence in His Word – that what He said is true and will come to pass – sleeping safely under His wing.
Spending time reading and meditating on the words of Jesus doesn’t just help me sleep – it helps me live! This is the faith I want to see in my life – this is the faith I want to keep nurturing and growing – because this is the faith I want to see in others around me! I want to see a faith that believes even when there is no other tangible evidence to do so. A faith that believes in what He said. A faith that changes the world.
A faith that believes in Jesus.
P: God we need You. We need a reassurance that You see us – especially in our most desperate hour. This feels like a desperate hour, Lord. People are dying – by plague and by our own sinful hands. We need Your saving grace. We need Your direction. We need Your love. Oh God, help us to love one another. Help us to forgive. Help us to stand for what is right and fight against injustice. Help us to be brave when it feels like we can’t. Help us to know what to do. Speak to us the words we can hold onto through the night. It feels like such a long night.
Photo by LRMoore