Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Distant Healing

John 4:43-54 - Why did John choose THIS miracle?  (John 20:30-31)
Possible answers:  was a distant healing without prayer, laying on of hands, or anything.
                     OR:  because of ACCEPTED Authority. - John 4:50 (b)

3 Issues important to John/ illustrated in this story
Miraculous healing
Divine Authority
Spiritual Progress

I.  Miraculous healing.
The numbers - there were MANY healings - Matt. 14:34-36, Matt. 15:30
The nature of the healings = immediate, complete, comprehensive - Luke 6:17-19 - never been duplicated
The purpose - more than compassion - the healings were temporal - all those healed eventually died
                    = confirmation of the Message and the Messenger
Example:  Mark 2:5-12
Vs. 10 - "that you many know"..... has AUTHORITY.." = primary reason for the miracles

II.  Divine Authority
Authority = jurisdiction/dominion/sovereignty, rule
Divine = of God, from God, God-given.  Therefore:  final and absolute!!!

Miracles demonstrated that Jesus had God-given Authority over ______________.  (everything)

A.  Recognition and Acceptance of Jesus' God-given Authority is the Essence of the Christian Faith.
Luke 7:1-9  Matt. 28:18  (He Is LORD)  Centurion understood this better than the Jews.

B.  Christian faith is also the Recognition and Acceptance of His God=given authority to NOT heal, (not bind, not quell, not answer... (even if He doesn't respond the way we think He should)  He is LORD!!!

C.  True Christian faith includes Recognition, Acceptance AND Submission to His Authority.  John 4:10 (b)
it takes Him at His Word!!  This is what makes the difference between demon and disciple.

If miracles designed to show His authority, results in

III.  Spiritual Progress (as seen in the court official)
- he heard of Jesus' power(s)
- he decided it was true
- so, he sought Jesus when he needed help

AND .. (vs. 10b = key verse) - he "took Him at His Word" without any personal, immediate, visible evidence or sign

RESULT = 1)  healing of his son (which was temporal)
                   2)  the saving of his soul/household (which = eternal!!)

The journey of belief  is not over when cross the bridge.  The journey is just beginning.

Should continue to grow -
Question:  Where ARE you??
                 Where should you be??
                Where are going??

Note:  to Progress - you must "take Him at His Word".  Must get a grip on Divine Authority.  Either HE IS LORD or He is not!!!   There is no middle ground.
This doesn't = blind, ignorant faith
+ a rational, informed decision ... to .... "take Him at His Word"

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