Not only he but his entire household believed. – John 4
I love the selection of photos today that represent our word FEEL. Just looking at these photos I can imagine feeling each one. I can feel the prickles of the cactus. I can feel the swelling from a bee sting. I can feel the warmth of an embrace from someone I love. I can feel the fur of a soft puppy. I can feel the cold snowflakes on a dogs fur. I can feel the warm glass of a lizard’s home. I can feel the water from the ocean.
Today we begin our journey of John following Jesus life here on earth. It’s Harvest Time and Jesus has been teaching. People are starting to take notice of him. They have heard stories about him and they have heard him teach. They are starting to believe.
After the two days he left for Galilee. Now, Jesus knew well from experience that a prophet is not respected in the place where he grew up. So when he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, but only because they were impressed with what he had done in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, not that they really had a clue about who he was or what he was up to.
People felt a presence in him – they seemed to believe in the miracles he performed. However, I’m not sure they trusted the person that he was. This sounds familiar to me. How easy it is for me to walk around when things are going well. To smile and laugh and believe that God is great because my life seems great. But what happens when the car doesn’t start, the kids get sick, the water heater breaks? Do I really feel that God is there even amongst the chaos?
Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”
Jesus lived a REAL life here on earth. He FELT all the FEELS that life threw at him. When I read this section of John 4 I’m struck by the last quote. “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.” I imagine Jesus felt frustrated because people weren’t trusting in who he was, just in what he did. This sounds familiar to me. How frustrated I get when people just expect me to do things but don’t appreciate me for who I really am. I imagine Jesus had to take a breath and collect himself before moving on with the conversation.
But the court official wouldn’t be put off. “Come down! It’s life or death for my son.”
Jesus simply replied, “Go home. Your son lives.”
The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home.
This man felt with his whole heart that Jesus was who he said he was. He believed so intently that Jesus would provide for his son, that he began his journey back home.
On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, “Your son lives!”
He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, “The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.” The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, “Your son lives.”
That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after coming home from Judea into Galilee.
Friends. We need to stop what we are doing and really feel the presence of Jesus in our lives. We need to feel the miraculous blessings he bestows on us each day. Those blessings can be simply in the warmth of the sunshine, the soft kiss of a toddler, the smooth skin of a baby’s cheek, the cold snow on our noses.
We need to feel the penetrating peace fill our hearts when we give ourselves to him. When we share our thoughts, confess our sins, and sing his praises.
We need to feel the warmth of his embrace when we fall down on our knees in deep despair or grief. To cry the river of tears at his feet as he holds us tight in his embrace.
This man and his entire household believed. We must believe too. We don’t have to wait for extravagent miracles. He is waiting right here, right now for us to feel him in our very souls. God’s love and compassion fills us with all we will ever need.
I will feel the prickles of the cactus and remember the infinite amount of ways God pours out his creativity into this world.
I will feel the swelling of a bee sting and remember the ways God provides protection for all of his creatures.
I will feel the embrace of someone special and remember that person is God’s hands in this world.
I will feel the soft fur of a puppy and remember the companionship God provides to his children.
I will feel the cold snowflake melting on a dog’s fur and remember that each flake is a unique fingerprint from God.
I will feel the warm glass on a lizard enclosure and remember that even the things I dislike are loved and have a place in God’s world.
I will feel the ocean water ripple across my skin and remember that God covers me with the protection of his expansive love.
How will you feel God in your life today?