…There was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto Him and besought Him that He would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said unto him, “Unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” The nobleman said unto Him, “Sir, come down ere my child die!” Jesus said unto him, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.”
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Thy son liveth!” Then he inquired of them the hour when he began to be healed. And they said unto him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus had said unto him, “Thy son liveth.” And he himself believed, and his whole house.
- Signs can be obstacles
- Signs can be wonderful
- Faith is the best “sign”
- Zero faith x signs = zero faith
- Faith x signs = more faith
A desperate father begs Jesus to heal his son and Jesus points out that “Unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe“. Many refuse to believe unless God “proves” Himself to them, by passing arbitrary tests. Alternatively, God cannot be believed since there is no supernatural “evidence”. Moreover, the plights suffered by many surely show that God is either not real or (at least) can’t be trusted. In short, a lack of signal evidence blocks the path to belief.
This is also true for many believers who wonder why God seems absent from their day-to-day lives. Believers who wish God would show them what to do, “If He just gave me a sign I would…”
The content of the father’s plea reveals that he does have faith. Indeed, he sees no other solution but Jesus. Jesus doesn’t go with the father as he requested, but states that his son was healed. In a great show of faith, the father heads back home and the miracle (the sign) is confirmed before he arrives. This sign bolsters his faith.
It is clear that the father’s faith secured the miracle; not the other way around. In the Kingdom of God, believing is seeing!!! To find God, to prove Him, we must first step out in faith. Miracles grow the faith of the faithful. As the father walked (home) in faith the miracle (sign) was reported and his faith grew. “Sign and Wonders”, in the context of faith, spurs growth.
Repeatedly, the Bible tells the believer: “Don’t be afraid”, “God will help you”, “God will supply ALL your needs”, etc. Yet, far too frequently, believers sit on the sidelines too afraid to test the waters. And so we rarely ever see God wondrously in action in our lives (except when he miraculously provides parking spaces and 1/2-price sales). So our growth stagnates as we settle for the practical over the promised, the safe over the spectacular and conformity over transformation.
- What would you do if God gave you a sign?
- Would it be worth doing without a sign?
- Are lives (maybe even yours) at stake if you don’t step out in faith?