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A royal official hears that Jesus is back in Cana. Perhaps he had been at the wedding, or met someone who had been. In any case, he comes to Jesus because his son is sick and near death.

Not only had he likely heard of Jesus’ turning the water to wine, by now, news was spreading across all Galilee that Jesus was healing the sick.

A man’s love for his son makes him so some things that he might no normally do. In this case, we can assume that the man has exhausted his natural resources to save the life of his son. Hearing that this miracle worker is in town, he heads to Cana. From the way the story is told, it seems he may have had to travel a day’s journey.

At first Jesus makes a comment that might put many off.

So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." - John 4:48

It seems as though Jesus is bemoaning the fact that people want to see signs, and other wise will never believe. But is that wrong? Is it a bad thing? Isn’t that the premise for John’s gospel?

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. - John 20:30-31

And, in fact, Jesus doesn’t begrudge this man his sign. Those standing by would not see this one, but the royal official would experience God’s power and glory first hand. Not only that, we would get an understanding of the power of the kingdom of God over space and time.

But, as I mentioned in the first installment of this series, Mary told us to do whatever He tell us. So let’s check out the imperative in the story.

The royal official said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. - John 4:49-50

Just before we look at the red letters, notice that the man’s request pulled on Jesus to work in a way the man could understand. How often do our prayers try to pull God into the box we’ve created for Him?

He says, “Sir, come…” In this royal officials mind, Jesus needed to be present in the flesh to “fix” his problem, to deal with his issue.

What was he expecting? He wanted Jesus to come to his son’s bedside and pray, or touch him, or speak words of life, or perhaps like Elisha did lay on the child, mouth to mouth, eye to eye and hand to hand.

I’m not sure what he was expecting, but Jesus didn’t even pray. The truth is, you never see Jesus pray for the sick. You see him heal the sick. But, that’s a message for a different day.

What did Jesus do? No matter how you search you’ll be hard pressed to find him doing anything in this story. He just tells the man to go.

Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives." - John 4:50

At this point we see some remarkable faith in the royal officials life. I want you to get this. Jesus is the truth. When He said “your sone lives,” that was not a wish, or a hope, it was true. Jesus, said it and the royal official believed the word.

The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. - John 4:50

This Word from Jesus was a seed, and the man’s heart was good soil, prepared to receive the word with gladness, and move in faith at that moment.

He did not come back with any BUTs.

I might have. How about you?

Jesus, are you sure you can’t come with me. I want you to touch my son, I want you to pray for my son, lay hands on him, cast his demons out, hold him, coddle him. Why won’t you come?

We learn the mans son was healed right then, at that moment. With the word spoken and received, the healing, a days’ journey away, was already manifest. “Your son lives!”

What Jesus speaks comes to pass.

What has Jesus spoken life to in your world?

What have you laid before Jesus hoping for Him to come and touch and heal?

Have you heard Him say, “Go?” Has He already released the answer?

Your son lives.

Hallelujah!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Keep shining,

Ben

4

I am dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. (Song of Songs 1:5 NKJV)

Our girl spent the evening in the King's courts and experienced His personal care for the very first time. Now she knows what Isaiah learned in the year that King Uzziah died.

Leonard Ravenhill

Leonard Ravenhill, the revivalist from the last century, often preached a sermon from this text (Isaiah 6) using the outline, Woe, Lo, and Go. You can listen to it, or even download it, at SermonAudio.com. It's wonderful.

He outlines Isaiah chapter 6 like this:

"Woe is me! For I am undone." (vs 5) When I get into the presence of the Lord the first thing that strikes me is how I really don’t belong here. I am filthy, dirty, DARK and unfit for the Kings Presence.

"Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged." (vs 7) The blood of Jesus purges opens the way for me to enter this place, and not be consumed.

"Go, and tell this people." (vs 9) Intimacy leads to productivity. When I see how consumed my Holy Savior is with His people, I am drawn into His vision and His mission. My only response can is, "Here am I, send me." (vs 8)

So let's look at our maiden. She spends the evening in the King's presence and when she gets home she begins to examine herself. One look in the mirror tells her the whole story. She is earthy, from working outside and from the years in the hot sun of the Middle East.

She is dirty from "everything under the sun." This is the phrase Solomon used in Ecclesiastes to talk about the world's influence. Jesus told Peter to sit still while He washed his feet. Peter did not need a bath—just the cleansing from the dust of the roads of life.

Then she remembers His words to her—He says I am lovely—I picture this like the scene in West Side Story. Maria dressing for the dance. “I feel pretty,” and our dark beauty dances about the dressing chamber remembering her evening with the King.

Tents and Curtains

The tents of Kedar she speaks of dot the white sands of the wilderness. Made from dark animal skins, they stand out in stark contrast to the white sands. She highlights the dramatic contrast of life in the sands and dust of these base tents, to the pristine curtains she observed in Solomon's courts. These spectacular curtains adorned what was possibly the most beautiful palace of all time.

Dark and dusty on the outside, beautifully adorned on the inside.

So it is with you and I. Any time spent in introspection, gazing into the mirror of the Word, will turn up dirt—things you know you need to change—places you know you need to do better—things that stir up shame.

It leads you to repentance—to a clearing of yourself.

Then you take the bread and cup of God’s love and see that He has made you lovely and perfectly acceptable in His sight—more than acceptable—desirable! You are the apple of God’s eye, the rose of Sharon, the lily among thorns. You are the object of His passion. In the bread and wine, you can see the immense value the Savior has placed upon you, and the love lavished without regard to cost.

Like the coal from the altar in Isaiah's vision, the bread and wine remind you of your purged state. You may have the outward appearance of filth, but you have been washed in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb.

Hallelujah!

O the joys of the presence of the Lord!

Come back again next week, won’t you?

Ben

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