Freedom Church

ABIDE – An Incremental Journey of Belief – John 4:46-54 (Russ Muse)

We read in this account the healing of the official’s son. This official traveled for likely at least six hours by foot or chariot, believing that Jesus could heal his ailing son. At the end of the account, John refers to this being the “second sign” which can be puzzling because we’ve seen Jesus do several things so far. But with this and turning water into wine, John is building a record of the significant signs of Jesus in the entire book. (There are seven altogether.)

What can we learn from this account, which John covers from start to finish (unlike stories such as Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus)?

1. The journey of faith is incremental. We see the official believe that Jesus can heal, finding Jesus and expressing his belief, and receiving Jesus’ assurance that his son would live.

2. We may feel like Jesus is rude and dismissive at times, but He’s actually provocative. Like a coach that pushes you to a higher level, He provokes people to grow.

3. Jesus demonstrates a balance between extravagant compassion and extravagant truth. It is important for us to model and learn when to extend grace and when to speak the truth in love.

4. We may have been taught, “You should believe WITHOUT signs!” but John spends most of his book talking about the signs Jesus provided. It is okay to watch for God’s activity in your life.

5. Everyone is on a different journey of faith, with the Holy Spirit drawing them incrementally. Jesus was willing to allow people their own journey. We do not have to take responsibility for the results or fruit in someone else’s life. We can be ready to be a blessing and be used to encourage, but God knows where they are and what He will be doing.

6. We can’t manufacture or “make” ourselves believe. The Holy Spirit invites us to believe, receive, and grow ever deeper in our relationship with God.

Reflect

1. How has this journey through John been different than other studies/series you may have experienced? What new things is God teaching you?

2. Would you have taken a long journey to find Jesus and ask Him to heal a loved one?

3. What do you think about how Jesus interacts with others? Do you feel He is rude, dismissive, provocative, etc?

4. What signs from God have you experienced?

5. Think about the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. How has He drawn you into initial, and then deeper, belief?

ABIDE – An Incremental Journey of Belief – John 4:46-54 (Russ Muse)

Incremental Journey

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