John 4:50 “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.”
Jesus didn’t have to touch the child. He didn’t have to send anything home with the father to affect the cure. All He did was speak and the son was instantly healed (v. 53).
This man had traveled over fifteen miles from Capernaum to Cana to find Jesus. Therefore, the son was not within ‘earshot” so that Jesus’ words sparked some cord of hope in his heart, thereby releasing God’s power. No, Jesus’ spoken word had so much power that no barriers (such as time or space) had any affect on it whatsoever.
This is hard for us to comprehend. We spend an entire lifetime learning physical limitations and adapting to them. But there are no limits to the power of God’s word. Jesus created everything in this physical universe by His words, and that creation will respond to anything He says.
The Lord gave His Word to the Jews but they didn’t believe it. Hebrews 4:2 says, “…the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” We have been given God’s words too, in the Bible. If we will speak God’s Word in faith, we will get the same results that Jesus did here.
John 4:32 “But he saith unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”
Food is essential for life. Without it we couldn’t grow. We get strength and vitality from food. Yet food can kill us. Improper diets kill more people than any disease.
Our soul needs nourishment too. The things we think on and the desires that we have are food to our souls. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”, Matthew 4:4.
Jesus valued spiritual nourishment more than He valued physical nourishment. He was thrilled to see this woman and the people of this town respond to His gift of salvation. Likewise, we should set our desires on the things of God so that spiritual matters are more important to us than our physical food.
The wrong diet for our souls is the leading cause of failure and depression in Christians. Being spiritually minded produces life and peace. Being carnally minded produces death, Romans 8:6.
In our health conscious society, many of us wouldn’t dream of abusing our bodies with bad diets. Yet in our soulish area, we are killing ourselves by feeding on the wrong things. Treat yourself to a healthy spiritual meal today.
John 4:14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus painted a beautiful picture of salvation in this passage. The salvation Jesus brings is like an artesian spring which doesn’t have to be pumped. It bubbles up constantly.
Unfortunately, not every Christian’s experience matches Jesus’ description. Many people relate more to an old pump which has to be pumped and pumped. Just as a trickle of water comes, they have to rest. They lose their prime. The water stops. Then they have to start all over again.
Yet, Jesus said we would never thirst again. This doesn’t mean that one drink satisfies us forever. But, as we continue to avail ourselves of this water of life daily, we will be constantly refreshed. The well of His life is there, but we must partake.
The dryness in a Christian’s life comes when we substitute other things for the living water that only Jesus can give. Anytime a Christian begins to thirst again, it is not a reflection on the living water that Jesus gives, but rather an indication that we have been drinking from some other source.
“Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”, Isaiah 12:3.
God Is The Greatest Giver
John 4:10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
Jesus asked this woman for a drink of water, but it wasn’t water He was interested in. He wanted to give this woman eternal life.
God is the greatest giver there ever was. He lives to give. When He asks something of us we can be assured that it is only so He can multiply it and give it back to us.
God is not interested in the water we can give Him. We don’t have anything to offer God that He doesn’t already have. God wants us. And by asking us to give of our time and money or desires, He is really asking us to give ourselves.
Many a person has walked away from God sad, like the rich young ruler because all they could think about was what they would have to give up, Mark 10:22. All of our achievements and possessions are nothing compared to what God offers us in exchange.
Just as Jesus turned this woman’s attention toward what He had to offer her, we need to focus our attention on what the Lord has given us in Christ. He is no fool who gives up what he can not keep to receive what he cannot lose.
Eternal Life – A Quality Of Life
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Most people focus on the part of this verse that promises us we won’t perish. Although it’s certainly a wonderful promise, it is not the focus of this verse. The primary purpose of Jesus’ coming to this earth was not forgiveness of sins, but to give us eternal life.
Sin separated us from God so Jesus dealt with sin. However, His payment for sin was just a step toward His ultiimate purpose of reconciling man to God. If someone believes that Jesus died for their sins but doesn’t go on to enter into the close fellowship with God that Jesus made available, then they are missing eternal life.
Eternal life is not a length of life, but rather a quality of life. Eternal life is intimacy with the Father and Jesus, John 17:3. Many people have been done a disservice in being told that Jesus came to forgive us of our sins “period’. If it had been all that He did, it would have been wonderful–and much more than we deserved–but much less than what He actually accomplished.
Today, take full advantage of your salvation and go beyond the basic forgiveness of your sins into intimacy with Almighty God.
He Uses The Useable
John 2:24, “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.”
This was the first time Jesus had ministered in Jerusalem. Multitudes believed on Him when they saw the miracles He performed, verse 23. This looked like a perfect opportunity for Jesus to take these people and use them to spread the news far and wide that He was the Christ. Instead Jesus did just the opposite. He didn’t want people proclaiming His gospel in their own ability.
This reveals an attitude of Jesus which is lacking among many Christians today. Jesus is more concerned with the quality of ministry than the quantity of ministry. In contrast, today’s Christians often feel that “the end justifies the means.”
We take new converts and place them in leadership–which is directly opposed to the Bible’s instructions, 1 Timothy 3:6. Many times movie stars or other famous people who have come to the Lord are made spokesmen for the Christian faith. This works to the harm of these people and the Body of Christ as a whole.
Some of you can’t understand why the Lord hasn’t used you, but rest assured the Lord is using everyone who is usable. Instead of looking at the need and begging God to use you, take a hard look at yourself and ask the Lord to make you usable.
John 1:23 “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”
John knew who he was and what he was called to do. This was one of the keys to his success.
Unlike most of us, John did not have an identity crisis growing up. He knew God’s plan and purpose for his life from the beginning and he spent his entire life preparing for it.
God has a plan for your life just as surely as he did for John the Baptist. To succeed in life, you must find God’s plan for your life and then devote yourself to fulfilling that plan.
It is not enough to simply “do your own thing” and then ask God’s blessing upon it. Once you know you are doing God’s will, you never have to ask for God’s blessing. God’s will is already blessed.
The Lord created you with a purpose in mind. Your talents and abilities were given you to fulfill His purpose. Although you may find limited success using these talents for your own uses, you will never find your true potential until they are directed by and for the Lord.
The good news is that God wants to reveal His perfect plan for your life to you more than you want to know it. You can rest assured that if you ask for knowledge of His plan for your life, you will receive, Matthew 7:7. He will show you His good, acceptable and perfect will, Romans 12:1-2.
The Weapon Of The Word
Luke 4:4 “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”
Jesus answered every temptation with, “It is written.” The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17. It is the only offensive spiritual weapon that we have.
Since Jesus was the Word of God, John 1:1, anything he would have spoken would have been the Word. He could have said “scat” and the devil would have had to go, yet He quoted the written Word of God three times.
This gives us great assurance that the written Word of God is sufficient for us. Jesus, in the face of the greatest temptations that Satan had to offer, did not need to say anything that was not already recorded in scripture.
It is likely that when Jesus returns to this earth and destroys His enemies, He will just speak the Word that has already been given in scripture. No wonder Satan tries to keep us from studying and knowing God’s Word. Even our good works will hurt us if they keep us from really knowing the scriptures.
God has given us this mighty weapon of His Word! When we speak the Word in faith, hell shakes. Satan and his minions have already experienced what the Word can do. They know its power. We need to know it, too.
Knowing Who We Are
Matthew 4:3, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”
Two of Satan’s three temptations began with the words, “If you be the Son of God.”
Jesus was God, but he did have a human body that had to grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God, John 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; Luke 2:52. It took faith for the physical mind of Jesus to believe the witness of the Spirit within Him that he was the Messiah. Satan was attacking the most basic of His beliefs. This must have been a temptation to Jesus or Satan would not have used it.
Satan is very subtle in his temptations. It may have looked like he was trying to get Jesus to perform a miracle, but he was actually trying to make Jesus waiver in His faith of who He was. He tried to get Jesus to draw on the supernatural power of God to confirm it to the devil and Himself.
Unlike Jesus, we sometimes fall for this trick of the devil. We may say that we are arguing for some truth of the gospel, but many times we are hoping to convince ourselves. Someone who really knows who they are and what they believe, doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone.
Isaiah 30:15 says, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:…” Let the Lord build your confidence in who you are in Christ.
The Ministry of John The Baptist
Matthew 3:1 “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,”
These scriptures record the ministry of John the Baptist. He spent thirty years in the deserts of Judaea preparing for this ministry. Then it only lasted about six months before He baptized Jesus and men started following the Messiah. Yet in those brief six months He turned an entire nation to God.
He did not take the normal approach and go where the people were. He was out in the wilderness and the people came to him. He had no advertisements other than the testimonies of those who had heard him. He wasn’t a flashy evangelist wearing the latest styles of the day. He didn’t do anything the way the religious leaders taught it was supposed to be done in their seminaries, yet it worked.
In six short months, an entire nation was stirred in anticipation of their Messiah through a man who was not “normal.”
One thing that keeps many of us from being used by God is our “herd instinct.” We are so afraid of what someone else will think. We try to be like everyone else and then we wonder why we are getting the same results as everyone else. That’s not smart.
John was completely yielded to the Holy Spirit and he succeeded against all the odds. Dare to follow the Holy Spirit, even against the crowd, and you will get supernatural results, too!