The following are excerpts of a sermon given recently at Trinity Assembly of God by pastor George W. Raduano:
A sick child — a parent’s worse nightmare. What would you do?
In the Gospel of John 4:46-54, we are given the story of a man of great means and influence, a governmental official from Capernaum whose son is sick and near death. This person of high office learns that sorrow is no respecter of position or wealth, that no amount of money or power can save his son or lessen his own agony.
There are many things that money cannot buy. It can buy a king-sized bed but it cannot buy a good night’s rest, it can buy a great house with all the conveniences but cannot buy a home, it can buy a companion but not a friend, books but not brains, the best plastic surgery but not a good disposition. It can also can buy the best medical treatment, but it cannot buy life and health.
The nobleman in our story heard news of a miracle worker in the area, a man who had turned water into wine. So the nobleman called for his horse and went out in search of this man, this hope. With the dusty road turning into a cloud, and his heart racing more quickly than his horse, he searched and searched until at last he found this man.
He leapt from his horse, ran through the crowd and begged a poor carpenter to come to Capernaum and heal his son. Unaware or not at all concerned for what the gathering crowd might think, he begged Jesus to heal his son.
Jesus told the official that his son would live. As the man was on his way home, his servants brought him the news of his son’s healing. Jesus delights in turning moments of doubt into monuments of faith.
Do we, like the man in this story, need to come to a sense of hopelessness before we will turn to God? When bad things happen, will we have the courage to allow God to turn our difficulties into faith builders, into monuments of faith?
It is John’s hope that we will learn from the stories recorded in his Gospel. John said he recorded these stories for us so that we will believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in Him we will have life not only for today, but for eternity.
When my grandfather was dying with tuberculosis, he got mad at my grandmother when she would bring him religious material. She decided to keep bringing him the Pentecostal Evangel. Two days before he died, he told her that she was right and that he was wrong. He had read all of the magazines and put his faith in Jesus.
Is there someone God has placed in your life for whom you need to cry out? Are you facing an impossible situation that is causing you to doubt? Will you need to see before you will believe? Or will you, like the wealthy man of our story, take Jesus at His word?
Many today are seeking proof. They want hard evidence. For them, believing is seeing. They follow faith healers around the country to see if they can authenticate a miracle. Only then will they believe.
Jesus did not give the nobleman a sign. He did not offer proof, but He did give the nobleman His word, and the man believed Jesus’ word and started home. The fulfillment came after he believed God’s Word, not before.
Miracles are God’s way of allowing us to see the invisible and know the Eternal, to know God. But our faith will grow as we listen to and really hear what the Word of God says, and then as we act upon or exercise what we have been told in the Scriptures without waiting to be overwhelmed by the evidence we think we need.
Second Peter 1:5 tells us to “make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.”
If you are in the midst of a stress-filled life, if you are suffering, or if, as the nobleman, someone you love is suffering, I urge you to believe in Jesus, to turn to God, listen to His word, and trust Him.