He took Jesus at His Word.

None above Him, none before Him, all of time in His hands – because my God is the Ancient of Days – yet he knows my name.

Glorious, massive, wonderful, beautiful – all the adjectives you can gather together to describe Me. Yet this name – the “Ancient of Days” has special meaning because it shows how I have always been and will always be. No new development or invention takes me by surprise – because I am already there. I am outside of time and will take you outside of time when you come to be with me. Then you will truly see and comprehend what you were singing about that I am the Ancient of Days. Yet I am also “I am” – so I am always present with you, always contemporary, always one step ahead of you as you walk with me. Enjoy me today for who I am, the “Ancient of Days.”

We go back today to where Jesus is leaving Samaria after spending a few days in a village which has been transformed by His presence. We pick up the story in John 4:43. There is an interesting editorial comment in vs 44 that Jesus had pointed out that He was not honoured in His own country. Presumably this explained why He was again leaving the area to take His ministry elsewhere, ie Galilee. He was becoming more prominent there after visiting Jerusalem for the Passover feast.

We are now treated to the next miracle that Jesus did, the second one according to 4:54. This section then describes His encounter with another man, this time a royal official, who is probably a gentile. The progression is interesting as some commentators suggest that it parallels Jesus’ instruction to the disciples in Acts 1:8, where He told them to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. He had met Nicodemus in Jerusalem, ministered to the woman in Samaria and now was ministering to someone outside of the Jewish faith.

Be that as it may, this encounter once again is with a person of some importance and influence, contrasting to the Samarian woman and incidentally with the man Jesus heals at the pool in ch 5, which we will look at next week. Here we see the official approaching Jesus for His help, similar to the Meeting with Nicodemus, where Jesus had instigated the meeting with the Samarian woman and would do so with the man at the pool in ch 5.

So, what is the main message of this passage and the whole section since the miracle of turning water into wine in ch 2? The two miracles sort of bracket the whole section, indicating a common theme. The clue is in vs 48 which links with the main message of John. Jesus makes the statement after the man had asked for a miracle, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe”. This almost seems incongruous as Jesus then says to the man, “You may go your son will live”. The NIV translates the latter part of that verse 4:50 as “the man took Jesus at His word“. The Greek actually says simply “the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken“, using the same word that is translated elsewhere as believed, “pisteo”. (The ESV gets this right.)

Remember the main message of John in 20:30,31 “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name”.

So, despite Jesus’ apparent accusation, this miracle has been recorded to bring us, the reader to faith. Now if we step back and look at this whole section, bracketed by two miracles, one of the main themes has simply been an emphasis on believing or on faith. In this section alone the word “believe” is repeated 5 times: vv 39, 41, 42, 50, 53.

So, are you tired of hearing this word “faith” or the concept of “believing” repeated constantly? It seems to me that one of the main purposes of Jesus in our lives is to continue to build our faith. He uses many ways, but one of the main ways is through His word and reading and understanding passages like this and the whole of the gospel accounts. Worth spending a bit of time pondering how your faith is doing.

May God bless you all until we meet again next week.

One Reply to “He took Jesus at His Word.”

  1. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4 . 4 . Our Holy Lord createdd us by His powerful Word., the Lord Jesus Christ. We are being sustained by the Word, it is our breath of life. Believing this Holy Word in childlike faith is our way to salvation. Ĺet us in deepest humility and silence listen to the Word of our Holy Lord and experience His Love and the POW E R of His GRACE! All Glory, authority, power and dominion be to our Holy Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever 🙏 Amen 🙏 🙌

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