There is so much in chapter four of John’s gospel about which I could write, but I want to briefly deal with two things that jumped out at me.
First, the energy we receive from God when doing His work. Jesus was physically tired, sitting by a well while His disciples had gone into town to get some food. Like most people, when I’m tired I like to left alone. But notice what Jesus did when His “rest break” was interrupted. He engaged the Samaritan woman in a conversation that led to her salvation and, ultimately, to the salvation of many others in her town. When His disciples returned with the food and offered Him something to eat (verse 31), He surprised them by saying He had “food to eat” that they didn’t know about (verse 32). They were confused, so He explained that doing God’s will and work was food that nourished Him (verse 34). In verses 35-38 Jesus made it clear that this work was evangelistic work.
God has a way of energizing us when we are tired and still choose to do His work, especially when that work is sharing the gospel. There have been many times in my own life when I have experienced this. The Holy Spirit really does empower us. While we all need adequate physical rest and times of spiritual retreat, there are also times when we are tired and simply need to press on in doing the Lord’s work. He will energize us.
Second, the importance of believing Jesus when the only evidence we have is His word. In verses 46-54 we have the story of Jesus healing the son of a royal official. What strikes me in this story is how this man believed Jesus. In verse 50 Jesus told him to go home and that his son, who had been near death, would live. At that moment he turned and started home. He didn’t beg Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on his son. He simply believed what Jesus said and headed home. On his way home, one of his servants came to him to tell him his son was healed. He discovered his son had gotten better at the very moment Jesus had spoken and told him to go home. What if he had not believed Jesus? What if he had insisted on more proof than Jesus’ words? What if he had chosen to not go home, but instead to beg Jesus to come home with him?
Often we want evidence we can see with our human eyes and touch with our hands before we will believe Jesus. Yet Biblical faith often involves believing when there is no evidence beyond God’s promise. We need to remember that more often than not faith comes before the blessing we seek.
Much in life changes, often without notice. Yet God’s word never changes. It can always be trusted because it truly is His word and He never changes.
Pastor Steve Hogg