The Faith Jesus Doesn't Want
The man walked about seventeen miles to see Jesus, but that wasn’t enough. He told him rather abruptly , “So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe" (John 4:48).
1.) Jesus does not want the kind of faith that asks for miracles in order to believe. This seemed rather odd to say to a man who walked so far for a request. A faith that seeks miracles in order to believe Jesus calls “evil” and “adulterous” (Matt. 12:38-40).
2.) Jesus does not want the kind of faith that is too easily offended. I think today we are living in an age where people are just looking to be offended.
This royal official was not offended enough to be distracted by such a remark from Jesus. He just took it, (he must have had his big boy pants on).
3.) Jesus does not want the kind of faith that does nothing. “Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives…” (Jn. 4:50a). This man did not “see” a miracle, yet believed and obeyed. The miracle took place that moment about 17 miles away, out of this man’s sight. Does Jesus expect this man to have enough faith to leave Cana and go back home to Capernaum, expecting his son to be well? Yes. “The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off” (Jn. 4:50). So I ask myself the question, how did John know that this man believed what Jesus said? Can a bystander, just watching people, see who has faith and who does not? Sometimes, YES. You can, and I can, and John could too. When this man turned around and “went” and kept going, it showed his faith. His actions told Jesus that he believed what Jesus said, and he obeyed him. “But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” (James 2:20). He had enough to obey, that’s what counts. He believed and obeyed Jesus without seeing a miracle. This is in contrast to Nicodemus who bore witness to Jesus’ miracles (John 3:1-5), but refused to obey! Jesus commanded Nicodemus to be born again, out of the “water and the Spirit”, but he did not obey; he did not believe (John 3:12). Jesus does not want this kind of faith that believes but does not obey (John 12:42-43). Do we have faith enough to obey? Jesus commands us to repent of sinning and to confess his name openly (Mat. 4:17; 10:32). Jesus commands us to be baptized for the forgiveness of our sins (John 3:5; Acts 2:38). Jesus tells us to be faithful until the end (Rev. 2:10, Mat. 24:13). This includes going to church regularly without getting into a habit of forsaking church worship (Hebrews 10:24-26). Even if church is 17 miles away and you have to walk? It is time to show Jesus your faith, and be faithful. The man was well rewarded for his faith and his 34 mile walk; his son was restored. Dan Peters