It was a faith journey.
To go to Jesus, in the first place, required faith. Sure, he was desperate–his son was ill and at the point of death. But he was also a man of some standing–an official in Herod’s court–and was likely mindful of what others, including his boss, might think. But to Jesus he went. Not because he had met Jesus or witnessed one of His miracles, but only because the Rabbi’s reputation preceded Him. The official believed what he had heard about Jesus and so he went to Him and asked Him to come to his place and heal His Son.
To walk away without Jesus at his side required a bit more faith. Whatever power the official believed Jesus had, he thought that power was tied to Jesus’ physical locality. That if Jesus was to heal his dying child in bed, Jesus would have to be standing next to his dying child in bed. But Jesus had responded to the official’s plea not with His presence but with His promise, “Go, your son will live.”
Decision time. To go, or to stay and plead even more for Jesus to go with him?
The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.
(John 4:50b ESV)
After being met by his servants as he traveled home, and being told that his son was recovering, to ask the timing of when the boy started feeling better required some faith. I don’t think he inquired out of doubt or skepticism, but because he believed and took the opportunity to verify that the One he had put his faith in to save his family was worthy of such trust.
So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.
(John 4:52-53 ESV)
And the mustard seed of faith that propelled the official to go to Jesus, grew as the official left without Jesus at his side, and grew even more as he connected his son’s healing with the Healer’s promise. So much so, that the Spirit leads John to record that he who had believed, “himself believed, and all his household.” The official’s faith grew firmer. And his faith spread further.
Belief begets belief. Faith forges greater faith. Trust teems from trust.
It’s a faith journey. Every unanticipated circumstance an opportunity to go to Jesus. Every unwanted situation a reason to ask Him for help in time of need. Every season of suffering a time to walk by faith, not by sight, and to test promises that are really true, and experience grace that is truly sufficient. Everything which requires us to exercise faith, a catalyst for the dynamic that begets more faith.
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly . . .
(2Thessalonians 1:3a ESV)
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
(Mark 9:24 ESV)
By His grace. For His glory.