In John chapter 4, there is a story in which Jesus performs a long-distance healing for the son of one of Herod’s officials. Jesus is on His way home from celebrating the Passover in Jerusalem. John 2:23 tells us many believed when they saw the signs He did, but Jesus knew they were only looking for the spectacular. So now, He’s made it as far as Cana, when this desperate father catches up to Him. A crowd of Galileans had gathered, ready to see what miracle ‘their’ prophet would perform, but Jesus disappointed them. He simply told the man, “Go home. Your boy lives.” Travelling back home, the father received news that his son was healed just as Jesus said, and he believed, and his household.
There are several takeaways from the account about faith and signs-
1. God occasionally provides signs, but they are on His terms and glorify Him.
All of Jesus’ miracles were done to demonstrate His deity and authenticate His ministry.
2. Signs never produce faith. They only strengthen what’s there.
The father in the story had enough faith to come to Jesus, AND enough faith to go back home on Jesus’ word alone. Afterward the father was absolutely sure Jesus was who he thought He was.
3. Jesus expects us to believe solely because of His word.
He wasn’t about to feed the crowd’s lust for drama. He said the boy would live. That was good enough.
I’ve asked signs from God on numerous occasions, all under the guise of ‘wanting to know God’s will’, but in reality they were faithless demands that God prove Himself. He didn’t answer me. I need to remind myself that His word is more than enough. He is completely trustworthy and faithful.