just one word | John 4.49-50
The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him,“Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. John 4:49-50 | ESV
The aristocrat wouldn’t budge. “Sir, come down. Now. Before my boy dies.” Jesus paused. “Go,” he said. “Your son lives.”
And the man believed. He needed nothing more. Jesus had said it, and he banked on it. And off he went. MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
I happened to be reading Luke 7 this morning.
Very ill servant.
Jewish elders come and ask Jesus to come and heal the centurion’s servant, that he is “worthy” of the kindness, the occupied pleading for the occupier. Jesus is only a block away, and he is intercepted by other members of the centurion’s household, asking him to come no further, because though the religious Jews regard him worthy of the kindness, the centurion doesn’t regard himself as worthy of Jesus so much as stepping foot on his property.
“Just say the word.”
No up close and personal performance or stunts required. It’s a simple matter. Just give the order and it will be done.
What struck me as I finished Luke’s telling of the story is that he doesn’t even mention Jesus giving the order. He shows us Jesus amazed at an outsider Roman’s faith (lesson for the insider religious types) and then shows us the servants running back home and finding all is well.
Just one word.
With the Canaanite woman and her demonized daughter it is likewise just one word.
And so with this Galilean aristocrat. Jesus refuses to go down with him.
He could have taken the journey – who knows what conversation such time spent together might have occasioned, but that’s not what’s on tap for today. “No, I’m not going anywhere with you. Just go. Your son lives.”
Just one word. For millennia, we have trotted after healers for that one prayer service, that one touch, that one personal interaction. Plenty of sick people were certainly brought to Jesus and he healed many of them with such a personal touch and hands-on interaction (not to mention, frequently, spit). But perhaps one of the “sign” aspects of this healing of the aristocrat’s son is the simple reminder that the Word transcends time and space and connects with what the Father is doing even though a mountain range away – or a continent. Or a dimension.
Powerful things they can be, these words we speak in such a context…
How readily would you have accepted Jesus’ word if this were your child? How readily do you accept it now?
Lord, give me the faith of the Roman centurion and of the Jewish aristocrat, first of all to seek you out and ask, and then to take you at your word. Continue leading me deeper into a lifestyle of walking by faith and not by sight. Through Christ.