Have You The Right Faith?

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

John 4:43-45 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country. 45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

The Witness Of The Saved

Last week we spoke of Jesus going through Samaria, and meeting the woman at the well. This woman fell in love with Jesus, and put her faith in Him as Messiah. She went into Sychar, leaving her water pot at Jacob’s well, and began to witness for Jesus.

What does it mean to “witness” for Jesus? It is to tell others what Jesus did for you – how He impacted YOUR life. The devil is only defeated by:

Revelation 12:11 … by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of {your} testimony

I love to watch scary movies, and often yell at the screen when the characters of the drama fall victim to the vampires, the werewolves. The characters always get messed up when they go – by themselves – into a dark and spooky place! Then when they are attacked, they try to fend off the evil with some token, like “holy water”, a “cross”, a “silver bullet”, or “garlic”. These are fantasies. The way you ward off evil – truly ward it off – is by trusting in Jesus, and living by faith in Him. This is what defeats evil. The world needs the witness of the genuine believer in Christ. The world is desperate for Jesus! Once this woman witnessed about Jesus, the Samaritans asked Jesus to stay with them.

Jesus stayed two days with the Samaritans. Having done His work there for the Father, Jesus heads toward Galilee. Galilee is about 18 ½ miles north of Nazareth. John writes:

John 4:44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country.

Why does it say Jesus testified? That is a very interesting word, the Greek μαρτυρέω martyréō, {pronounced mar-too-reh’-o}, from which we get our word “martyr”. The word means “to give a witness”, but it has a sacrificial quality to it. It is to give a witness that costs something.

Our Lord Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of Man, the Only Begotten of God. Our Lord Jesus is the Godhead revealed, the Lamb of God, the Incarnate Son of God.

Our Lord Jesus turned water into wine at Cana.

Our Lord Jesus moved a Samaritan woman, that caused a revival in Sychar.

Jesus – this miraculous and wonderful Savior and Lord – heads toward His hometown of Nazareth. Though not born in Nazareth, He was raised in Nazareth. Though John does not give us the details on Jesus’ failed mission to Nazareth, Mark does. Mark tells us:

Mark 6:2-6 And when the sabbath day was come, {Jesus} began to teach in the synagogue {at Nazareth}: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

The Faith Of Nazareth Sees Only The Man In Christ

The people of Nazareth grew up with Jesus and remembered Him as the Carpenter’s Son. Though Jesus did miracles in Nazareth – not many, but some – they believed Him more a man than they believed Him Messiah. They said “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter?” The Bible says:

John 1:12-13 But as many as received {Jesus}, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Preach! Emphasize! To “believe on His name” is to receive and acknowledge Jesus as He is. Jesus Christ is Perfect Man, but He is no mere mortal. He is no mere human teacher. It is a weak and faltering faith that makes Christ out to be as common as you or I. Jesus is distinctly different from every human who has ever been.

As Adam in his creation was perfect before his choice to fall, Jesus is perfect, unique. He is like us in that He tired, He hurt, He ached, He hungered, He thirsted. He suffered all the failings this human body has. But Jesus Christ was and is without sin. He is God in human flesh!

Jesus is without sin- whereas we are sinners. When the Bible speaks of us humans, it says:

Romans 3:23 all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

all have sinned”. Little babies, fresh from birth, are sinners. Toddlers are sinners. Every person who has ever been born human is a sinner – all but One. This One is Jesus. The Bible says:

Hebrews 4:15 … {Jesus} was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He {God the Father} hath made him {God the Son}to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Jesus is not a sinner as we are. He is without sin, a unique human/ divine Person. The faith of Nazareth sees Jesus as no more than a mortal man. Jesus is, to them, just a great teacher or a wonderful preacher. If your idea of Jesus is as Nazareth, then your faith is not sufficient to bring about the miraculous. To say that Christ is merely a great moral teacher is to make Him to be what He is not. Jesus Christ is eternal God, incarnate as a perfect man, among us. From the time of the fall of Adam unto Jesus, there had never been a perfect man. There was Enoch, who walked with God till he was not, but Enoch was not perfect. Just as all fallen creatures do, we must rely on the Grace of God. Throughout Scripture, the Bible tells us:

The JUST shall live by faith.

To be “Just”, or “Justified”, righteous in the eyes of God, we ourselves cannot produce this. We must live by faith in God’s provision. All humans are fallen. Eliphaz told Job,

What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?” (Job 15:14 – ESV)

Noah, the Old Testament savior of humanity, was himself imperfect. God used Noah, because:

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Jesus is perfect Man. When God wanted to draw man closer to Himself, He gave us the Law to lead us to Christ. John 1:17 tells us,

The Law was given by Moses, but GRACE and TRUTH came by Jesus Christ”

Throughout the Scripture, when anyone found Grace in the eyes of God, they found it through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the very Source of the Grace of God. You cannot find grace in a Walmart, nor a Target, nor a Walgreens, nor in a farmer’s market. You cannot find grace in a local Church, or a denomination. You cannot find grace in a preacher like myself. Grace and truth are found ONLY in Jesus Christ. Jesus is perfect Man, and perfect God.

Years ago as a young Christian I was introduced to the works of C.S. Lewis. Lewis was a very deep thinker, a theologian of the first order. In his book Mere Christianity (which I highly recommend), Lewis said:

… people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic … or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse …. You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God.”

The Prophet Isaiah wrote of Jesus some 700 years before His incarnation as perfect Man. Though Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles(Isaiah 49:6), the Prophet also said that the Messiah would be …

Isaiah 53:3 … is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Though Nazareth – and the rest of the lost world – sees Jesus as just another man, the Bible declares He is more than mortal. He is perfect Man and Infinite God. As believers in Christ, we are daily:

Titus 2:13 … looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ …

Nazareth faith hinders the power of Christ to do good.

Mark 6:5-6 {Jesus} could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Jesus could there do no mighty work. Though Jesus kept trying to reach out, and though He tried to bring healing and truth, His ministry was greatly hindered by the unbelief of the inhabitants of Nazareth. The Bible said that Jesusmarveled because of their unbelief. Of all the things we do, only unbelief in the face of the kindness and grace of God marvels our Lord. The faith of Nazareth sees only the MAN in Jesus. In contrast,

The Faith Of The Galilean Sees
Only The Miracle In Jesus

John 4:45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

This verse refers back to

John 2:23-25 … Now when {Jesus} was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Jesus did a number of miracles at the beginning of His earthly ministry, right after chasing the money changers out of the Temple (John 2:14-16). We do not know what these miracles were, but whatever they were, they were given because Jesus loves people. Jesus loves to alleviate suffering. One word that highlights the life of Jesus is COMPASSION. We see it used frequently:

Matthew 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick .

Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them , because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

Matthew 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples [unto him], and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

Matthew 20:34 So Jesus had compassion [on them], and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.

Unless hindered by unbelief, Jesus – because of His compassion – always reached out to heal the broken.

God loves to heal the broken. The Galileans had been at the Feast of the Passover, and saw Jesus’ miraculous healings. The Gospels shout the words “Jesus had compassion!” Our Lord was compassionate, He loved people, He empathized with people, He identified with people. Because of this great love He healed people, He miraculously fed people, He caused the blind to see, and even raised people from the dead several times. God has compassion, Jesus has compassion, and this is the reason that the people in Cana of Galilee had such good wine on a certain wedding day.

Jesus loves to heal our hurts and our pain, but He wants all of our lives. Some people want Jesus for what temporary blessing He will give. If Jesus would turn water into wine, then go away until I need Him again, that would be just fine. But that is not why Jesus came. God created this world, then put humanity in this world, so that we would learn to walk with Him. God loves us. The Galileans were looking at what temporal things Jesus did, and received Him for these things.

But Jesus is so much more. The Galilean faith focuses on the loaves of bread and the little fish multiplied, but misses the greater truth that God is not just our Provider and Healer, but God is our Companion and Lord. This life is filled with trials and tribulations. Jesus healed many who were blind, leprous, had an issue of blood, or even – who like Lazarus – died …. Every one of these people still died. Their mortal lives in time ended, and they stood before Jesus Christ to be judged. Those who knew Him as Savior and Lord left this life and moved into eternity, adopted of God, blessed forever.

The Faith Of The Nobleman Sees The Lord In Jesus

John 4:46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

Someone once asked me why God allowed suffering in creation. The short answer is, so that we will be drawn closer to Him. The Bible tells us that God often allows pain and suffering in our lives to draw us into a relationship with Him. We read:

Romans 5:3-6 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

It is in our brokenness that we find our completion in Christ. No one loves suffering, but what makes it worst is to believe the suffering is without purpose, just painful. But this is not true.

When we suffer, Jesus is there to heal us.
When we are empty, Jesus is there to fill us.
When we are discouraged and depressed,
Jesus is there to lift us up and restore our souls.

The suffering that brings you to Christ is not a curse. Suffering, if it chains you to Christ, is a wonderful thing! God allows pain and suffering in the life of the unbeliever to lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is what happened in the life of the certain nobleman. We don’t really know who this man was. We just know that that his son was sick at Capernaum – a place not far from where Jesus was – and this man had heard about Jesus and the wine of the wedding feast. This son was very sick, we read he was at the point of death. If you, as a parent, have ever lost a child, you know this man’s heart. If you don’t, you can only imagine! I can see what this man was going through. He went to Jesus and asked Him to heal that child.

John 4:47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judæa into Galilee, he went unto {Jesus}, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

The “nobleman”, literally a “royal official” (Gr. Basilikos), was probably a man who served Herod Antipas, the puppet governor of Israel. The official’s son lay in Capernaum, about 13 miles from Cana. Warren Wiersbe notes:

The nobleman believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he made two mistakes in his thinking: that Jesus had to go to Capernaum to save the lad, and that if the boy died meanwhile, it was too late.”

Jesus told the official:

John 4:48 Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

The Jews were reluctant to believe in Jesus. The Bible says in …

John 12:37 Though {Jesus} had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him…

The Soniclight commentary notes,

Jesus’ mention of “signs” (Gr. semeia) pointed to the significance of His miracles. This is the only place in John’s Gospel where “wonders” occurs. This word (Gr. terata) stresses the wonder or awe that these miracles produced in those who witnessed them. Jesus’ use of the word suggests that the people wanted to see miracles just so they could marvel at them.

Jesus implied that the man did “not believe” in Him. He did, of course, believe that Jesus could heal His son, but he had not yet come to believe that He could heal from a distance. Jesus viewed that second level of belief as the significant one. The official may well have thought: “What do You mean I do not believe on You?” The man probably felt rebuked by Jesus’ comment, but Jesus’ aim was to bring him to deeper faith in Himself.”

Our Lord Jesus is not just a faith healer, not just a man. Jesus Christ is God. He need not be touching the boy to heal him. He can heal from a distance, if He so desires.

The rich man grows in faith – and believes in Jesus as He is. He says:

John 4:49 … The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

The word Sir is the Greek κύριος kýrios, {pronounced koo’-ree-os}, which is translated as “Lord” in most places in the New Testament. For instance,

Matthew 1:20 “the angel of the Lord (kýrios) appeared unto {Joseph} in a dream”

Matthew 7:22 “Many will say to me in that day, Lord (kýrios)Lord (kýrios)

Matthew 8:25 “Lord (kýrios) save us: we perish.”

Philippians 2:11 “every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (kýrios), to the glory of God the Father.”

The nobleman acknowledges Jesus as Lord. Not “Sir”, but “Lord”! When Doubting Thomas saw the resurrected Savior, he shouted out:

John 20:28 My Lord (kýrios) and my God.

When Peter, following the resurrection, heard the Master’s last teaching, he told Jesus …

John 21:17 … Lord (kýrios), Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

And as Stephen, one of the first martyrs of the Church was being stoned to death, he cried out to Jesus:

Acts 7:59 … Lord (kýrios) Jesus, receive my spirit.

An understanding as to what has happened in the nobleman’s heart hangs on your understanding this Greek word Lord (kýrios). This is the heart of salvation. You may call on Jesus Christ as Savior only, and not be saved. Salvation is based on repentance, and repentance is based on your reception of Jesus as LORD. The Apostle said:

Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord (kýrios) Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (11) For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Many come to Jesus today as healer, helper, friend, confidant. But is He your Lord (kýrios)? When you receive Jesus as Lord (kýrios), you are translated into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13). When you all on the name of the Lord (kýrios) (Romans 10:13; Acts 22:16) you will be saved. This nobleman saw Jesus as He is.

He is Lord, Hallelujah,
He is Lord, Amen.
He is Lord, Holy, Holy,
And He’s coming back again.
He is Lord, glory glory,
He is Lord over all
the seed of man.
He is Lord, great and mighty,
He is Lord, the great I AM.

Jesus tells the official:

John 4:50-51 … Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. (51) And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told [him], saying, Thy son liveth.

Genuine faith moves when God says move.

Had the official heard Jesus, and yet not headed home, he would not be showing faith. Faith moves. Faith goes. This nobleman seized the promise of Christ, and headed home alone. It wasn’t long before his servants met him, and told him “thy son liveth”.

John 4:52-54 Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. 54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judæa into Galilee.

What type of faith have you in Jesus? Do you have the faith of Nazareth, that Jesus is but a good man and a human leader of a religion? Do you have the faith of Galilee, believing Jesus can do miracles – but is not your Lord? Or do you have the nobleman’s faith? I pray that each and every one of you have the nobleman’s faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus is able. He is able to save. He is able to secure. He is able to bless. He is both Lord and Savior to His people. May God bring you to this knowledge through His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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