20190519 Sunday Worship Sermon
"The Miracle of Faith" (John 4:46-53)
We are always making choices.
The kinds of choices we make define our lives.
Making wise choices enriches and makes life happy.
A company hiring staff had this question in the written application.
"You are driving through the night in the storm. At the bus stop, three people are waiting for the bus. One is an old lady who seems to be dying, another is the doctor who has saved your life before, and the last one is an ideal person you have been dreaming of. Now you can take only one of these three in your car. Whom will you choose? Make your choice and explain why. "
This was a question intending to see the wisdom to cope with a situation.
Any answer will have its own reasons.
You may be able to save a life by taking the dying old lady in your car.
It may also be a good opportunity to repay the doctor for saving your life.
However, once this opportunity passes, you may not see your ideal person again.
So you could choose your ideal person to put in your car.
Who would you choose?
One person answered this question perfectly and overcame 200 other applicants and got hired.
He described his answer as follows.
"I will give the doctor the key to my car. And I will have the doctor take the old lady to the hospital. And I will stay at the bus stop with my ideal person and wait for the bus together."
Isn’t this a wise answer?
He is a clever man.
In our journey of faith, we will be presented with constant choices to make.
I hope that we will make the best and wisest choices.
Actually, you and I have already made the best choices.
I believe that we have chosen the way of faith out of many paths in lives, and have decided on the journey of faith as the best choice.
I hope that all of you will go through this journey of faith with the Lord.
What is happening in the scripture we read today?
Jesus is now on his way to Cana in Galilee.
We know well what happened in Cana.
In John 2, Jesus showed us the miracle that made water into wine at the marriage feast in Cana.
Perhaps the people who were in Cana at that time saw or heard about the miracles that Jesus had done.
Meanwhile, about 20 miles from Galilee, there was a city called Capernaum.
One of the king’s servants was in Capernaum.
However, his son got seriously ill.
This king's servant seemed to have heard of Jesus at that time.
He knew about Jesus who healed sick people and even raised the dead.
As soon as he heard that Jesus was coming to Cana, he ran to Cana, met Jesus, and begged him to come to his house and heal his son.
But Jesus told him something irrelevant instead of saying that Jesus will surely heal his son.
Jesus said, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
When Jesus said “you”, he said it in plural form.
Jesus said this because Jesus had directly experienced the people in Galilee, especially the Canaan people.
Jesus knew that they only seeking signs and wonders.
Many people demand signs and wonders before they put trust in God.
They think signs and wonders will prove that Jesus is truly the Messiah.
However, to the servant in today’s text, seeing signs and wonders was not important.
In fact, he did not care whether Jesus was the Messiah or not.
He just wanted to have his son be healed.
So once again he begged Jesus to come with him.
But Jesus did not go with him.
Instead, Jesus said, "Go! Your son will live. "
Brothers and sisters, if you were the servant, how would you feel?
I would have been very disappointed.
I would have felt angry to Jesus.
But this king 's servant believed in the words of Jesus, and went back to his house and found that his son was actually healed.
So he and his whole household believed.
This story can be titled as “The second sign of Jesus in Galilee," or "Miraculous healing in Galilee."
When we hear these miraculous stories in the Bible, we often think, "This is what happened at the time of Jesus in the old days, miracles do not happen nowadays ... "
Perhaps some of us think, "Why are not these miraculous things happening these days? If such miraculous things were to take place at this time, more people would believe in Jesus...”
Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3: 2,
"And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith….”
How could Paul be so sure about ‘not everyone has faith’?
What kind of person did Paul have in his mind when he thought of people without faith?
Let me give you two examples.
Someone is standing in the middle of a desert.
He is now exhausted.
His mouth is so dry and his tongue is stuck to the roof of his mouth.
Suddenly, he is seeing something in the distance.
He is unsure but he is thinking.
“What is that on the horizon? Could it be water? Could it be an oasis?”
His mind is beginning to run toward it.
But his reason is stopping him from running off.
It is telling him.
“It is a mirage, not water. Do not be stupid. You will only waste your strength.”
Then he is turning to the opposite direction according to the judgment of reason.
Now, those without faith are like this man standing in the desert.
They think that there is no Jesus, no God, and faith is merely an illusion.
So they turn around and walk away.
But you know what?
Wherever you turn, you’ll only see the desert.
What would you do?
Let's take a look at another example.
Someone is standing at the entrance to the mountain.
He is going to climb to the summit.
At the bottom of the mountain, there is a sign that describes several ways to climb to the top of the mountain.
The ways to the top are invisible.
So it is impossible to know which way is the easiest way to get to the top.
At last, he is choosing one way and starting to climb.
Soon he is realizing that the way he chose is too difficult.
There are too many gravels and it is hard to walk on.
He is stopping and thinking about it.
Then he is turning around and coming down.
Now he is at the bottom again.
He is choosing another way.
This time, it is too steep.
He is coming down again.
Whatever route he chooses, he will always be hesitant at some point.
Brothers and sisters, those who do not have faith is like him.
They want to follow others and see what others believe.
However, the way of faith is so difficult for them.
It is not easy to choose.
They keep getting confused.
Are we not like the man who is standing in the middle of the desert?
Are we not like the man who cannot choose which way to climb to the top of the mountain?
Do you believe that there is a spring even in the desert?
Do you believe that Jesus will help you to get to the top of the mountain if you let him?
The main theme of today’s scripture is about life and death.
The story describes a boy who was dying of an illness.
Then it shows how his father believed Jesus.
Therefore, in the end, the son was healed and the whole family was saved.
After all, this story tells us that by faith in Jesus Christ, we can gain life.
Brothers and sisters, please come to Jesus.
Please trust Jesus.
Please follow the words of Jesus.
Please have Jesus in your life today.
In today's text, the servant, the father of the sick boy, visited Jesus.
Everyone looks for something to eat, looks for work, looks for protection and safety, and looks for success.
The Bible says, "If you find it, you will find it."
But from our life experience, we know that what we look for is short-lived, just like a dream for a night.
The father of the sick boy ran through the wilderness from Capernaum to Cana to seek Jesus.
He had a desperate wish.
He had no more hope, nothing else except Jesus.
In Cana, he met Jesus.
And he believed in the words of Jesus.
Anyone can come to Jesus.
Anyone can come to Jesus and ask Jesus for help.
But not everyone can do it with faith.
Let us reconsider again the example of the man in the desert.
He did not believe that there was water beyond the horizon.
Despite the blazing thirst, he turned around and went in the opposite direction.
The same is true of the way of faith.
If we turn away from Jesus and go in the opposite direction, we will never be able to solve the thirst of life.
Life without Jesus is like a death in the desert.
Think again about the example of the man who wanted to climb a mountain.
He could not reach the summit because he thought it was too difficult every route he tried.
The same is true of our way of faith.
If we do not go with Jesus, we can never reach our destination.
We can find the example of faith in today’s text.
When Jesus rejected the request of the king's servant who pleaded Jesus to come with him and sent him away, those around him would probably have criticized Jesus.
"How could Jesus do that? How could Jesus speak so coldly? "
And it will be the same for us today as for those who read today’s scripture.
But this moment is a very important moment.
Indeed, it is the moment that reveals whether we have the desire to know Jesus as the son of God or not.
It is the moment that reveals who has true faith.
Jesus showed Himself to the king’s servant.
Jesus met a frustrated man in a desperate situation and granted his wish.
"Go, your son will live."
How did the king's servant respond to the words of Jesus?
Was he disappointed and turned his back on Jesus in another direction?
What would you have done?
Sometimes we do not even wait for the answer of Jesus, and we doubt, "Is not just a word?”
But please trust Jesus.
Today's scripture says that the king's servant "believed in the words of Jesus."
He did not turn to look for other ways.
He believed in the words of Jesus.
To believe in the words of Jesus means that the king's servant received the gift of faith.
The king's servant went home and did not doubt
He believed that Jesus' word would come true.
The belief in the words of Jesus was the "act" that changed the reality on the spot.
Faith has led to action.
The child really got well.
Jesus never makes a false promise.
Brothers and sisters, isn’t that a happy ending?
What brings this story to a happy ending?
Is it just a happy ending because this sick boy has been healed?
Although it is a glorious story, we should not overemphasize on the healing of the sick boy.
The curiosity induced in this way is so easily lost.
We have seen a lot of people get drawn to signs and wonders and soon turn cold.
We can see many people around us looking for the church because of this kind of curiosity.
They are people who can only believe when they see the mysterious, miraculous acts before their own eyes.
But this belief is getting hot soon, and getting cold again.
This kind of faith gets easily lost.
That's not the point of today’s story.
The emphasis should be on "Jesus gave faith to both a father and his family."
That is really a miracle.
The child, his father, and all his family have received the gift of "faith," the path of eternal life.
This is a miracle.
These miracles of faith must rise not only in Jesus' time, but also in the present.
But many today, even us believers think the reality that is visible to them is more important than the words of Jesus.
We tend to put our own experience and reason more in the first place.
We say, "I cannot believe invisible God. How can I believe that miracle did not happen before my eyes?"
Like the man standing in the middle of the desert, they are circling around in their problems.
There are many who give up and turn away, like the man standing at the bottom of the mountain.
In today’s text the king 's servant believed in the words of Jesus.
And he followed Jesus' words.
This is the message that today's scripture tells us.
Brothers and sisters, trust Jesus and look to Him alone.
Please believe and obey the word of Jesus.
Then we will receive faith as a gift.
We will experience the miracle of faith.
Faith will change our lives, our reality.
If you are with the Lord on your journey of faith, there is nothing to fear.
If you are with the Lord, you do not have to be thirsty in the desert and you do not have to wander around which way to go.
I want you to live a life of faith with Jesus.
Even though our reality is hard, dark, uncertain and lonely, do not turn around, do not give up, and do not wander.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will be happy, that you will be with the Lord, with the faith that the Lord gives you, that you will obey the Word of the Lord and experience the miracles of faith. Amen