Sunday, May 06, 2007

Believe what today?

I love it when I see something new in a Bible passage, especially when it's one I've read many times before. That happened again in the story of the royal official, whose son lay sick in Capernaum:
49The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

50Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live."

The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour." 53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.
John 4:49-53
The son recovered at the same time Jesus told the man "Your son will live." Something else happened at that exact time, or very close to it: The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

It wasn't just that Jesus said so; it was also that the man believed him. The letter to the Hebrews, talking about some others, says, "... the message they heard did not benefit them, because it did not unite with faith in the hearers" (Hebrews 4:2). But the royal official, in taking Jesus at his word, and also in heading home, combined his own faith with the words he heard from Jesus, and the result was healing for his son and eternal life for him and "all his household."

Here's something I want to believe today: that God will fill us with joy in his presence, with eternal pleasures at his right hand.

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