What Kind Of Faith?
Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Thursday, 11 April 2013
45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. 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. 47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea 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. 48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. 49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. 50 Jesus saith 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. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. 52 Then enquired 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 Judaea into Galilee.
23 Now when he 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.
Among those who followed Him eagerly, there were unbelievers. Today’s passage reveals the nature of superficial faith and that of genuine faith.
Superficial Faith: The Galileans welcomed Jesus because of His earlier miracles. When He came to Cana, a nobleman approached Him to seek healing for his son who was sick. Then Jesus said, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (v.48). Firstly, Jesus was rebuking the superficial faith of the crowd, who would believe only if there are great wonders. Secondly, though the word “ye” refers to the crowd, those words were spoken to the nobleman. In other words, Jesus was warning the nobleman not to come like the crowd, just for a miracle. He must have faith in Christ, though He may not perform any miracle before his eyes. Those, who need miracles to show faith in Christ, do not necessarily possess real faith. Faith that is sustained only by miracles and “out of the ordinary” is superficial or false faith. Those who follow Christ because of miracles, soon drift away from Him (Jn 6:26, 66).
Immature Faith: When the nobleman approached Christ, his faith was still very immature. Firstly, he thought that Jesus must go to the child to heal him (v.49a). Twice he besought the Lord to go with him (v.47, 49). Secondly, he appeared to have little confidence that Jesus can help if the child dies. His faith had a limited perception of Christ’s unlimited power. He needed to grow in his knowledge that all things are possible with Christ.
Mature Faith: The nobleman was taught by Christ that genuine faith is not persuading Him to perform his request, but submitting himself to Christ. Instead of going with him, Jesus told him, “Go thy way, thy son liveth.” The nobleman’s faith led him to see the greatness of God and to be obedient. Real faith is obedient and finds its reward when it proves itself through obedience. When he met his servants on his way back, he realised his son was healed and his faith grew further (v.53).
Trust and obey to be happy in Jesus.
Lord, may my faith mature that I may obey and see Your glory.