We are in the midst of a series of messages from the book of John where we are trying to understand who Jesus is and why he came to earth. We are doing that by looking at what John calls the miraculous signs of Jesus. Jesus’ signs were symbols of who Jesus was, in order to provoke faith with the result that we might have life in Jesus’ name.
This miracle story involving the healing of the royal official’s son is designed to tell us about the nature of faith. There are not “types” of people who become Christians; saving faith is for everyone. In this passage, we learn five things about faith and it’s extremely important that we know all of them.
 Life-giving faith starts with a reason. It involves your thinking and rationality. Biblical faith is not opposed to reason, it’s rooted in reason. The official had heard reports about Jesus’ miracle- working power–he weighed them and believed them. He comes to Jesus because he has reason to believe that Jesus has the power to perform miracles. Faith may start with reason, but it must proceed beyond reason to become genuine trust. It has to become faith, knowing that: (a) few things can be proven absolutely, (b) most of the important things in life cannot be proven (such as the right person to marry or the righteousness of moral convictions), (c) you can only live in one of two ways—as if there is no God when there may be, or as if there is a God when there may not be.
 Life-giving faith has to move beyond reason to trust. When Jesus heals the official’s son from a distance, he is moving the man from a mere intellectual, rational belief in his power to a personal trust in his true identity. The difference between life-giving faith and mere intellectual assent is trusting your life. Nominal Christians believe intellectually that Christianity is true, but their belief is not changing how they live. Jesus wants us to not only have “assensus” faith, but “fiducia” faith.
 Life-giving faith grows beautiful and pure where precious metals do—in the furnace! Faith grows in perfection as we walk through the brokenness of life, or through the furnace.
 Life-giving faith saves by its object, not by its amount. It was not the official’s faith that saved his son, it was Jesus’ power that saved his son, and his faith connected him with that power. It’s the object of your faith, not the quality or the strength of your faith that saves you. Pure faith is what connects you to Jesus Christ, no matter how small it may be.
 Real, life-giving faith comes to love Jesus for who he is, not just for the benefits he offers. Jesus desires that whether or not your prayers are being answered, you choose to love and trust him. None of us have perfect faith and none of us are deserving of Jesus’ love, but out of his great and perfect love, he saved us. Jesus desires that we love him for who he is, because he is the only one who loves us perfectly, as we are.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
- When you have a serious problem, do what this man did: Go to Jesus.
- Then, allow Jesus to answer you on his own terms.
- Finally, tell others what Jesus did for you. You can share your stories of God’s grace and love with us through the TCC Stories Form.
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)