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The Scriptorium

Contagious Faith

True faith spreads naturally.

The Gospel of John: John 4.43-54

Read and meditate on John 4.51-54.

Again we are told that the nobleman believed. This time, however, he’s not alone.

                                   51But servants from
his household met him, saying, “Quickly come!
For your son lives!” 52 Then he inquired of them
the hour when he improved. They said to him,
“The fever left him yesterday at one.”
53And so the father knew he had begun
to heal the very hour when Jesus said,
“Your son lives.” Then the nobleman believed,
and all his household. 54This again would be
the second sign that Jesus did when He
returned to Galilee from Judah.

- John 4.51-54

1.  I think it’s safe to say these servants were rushing to find the nobleman with the good news that his son had recovered. What made this child’s recovery good? Why was it natural for these servants to want to find and tell the nobleman? Is there a lesson here for us as witnesses? Complete the following brief prayer: I know the Gospel is Good News, Lord, because…

2.  When he hears this news, the nobleman’s mind begins to process all that he has experienced. What is he thinking as he asks about the hour when his son began to recover? Do you think the reality of spiritual things can precipitate like this in people’s minds? But it has to be in their minds first, and this is our role. How can we use everyday conversations as ways of planting spiritual truths, ideas, and testimony in the minds of others? I want to be a faithful witness, Lord. You can help me, so help me today to…

3.  What do you make of this second statement about the nobleman’s believing? We already read that he believed (v. 50). Why are we being told this? Are there stages of believing? Explain. Help me to get some sense of where the people in my Personal Mission Field are with respect to You, so that…

4.  How did the nobleman’s “whole household” come to believe? What do you suppose they heard that led them to believe? Was this nobleman a skilled preacher or trained theologian? What did he have to give to the members of his household, so that they would believe? What do you have? Lord, each day show me something new about Your great salvation, and I will…

5.  In what ways is this story like the story of the woman at the well? See how many similarities you can identify? In what ways is it different? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed from questions 1-4.

“Do you see how obvious the miracle was? It was not in a simple or ordinary way that the child was freed from danger, but all at once. In this way, what took place was seen to be Christ’s doing and not the work of nature. For when he had reached the very gates of death—as his father demonstrated by saying, ‘Come down before my child dies’—he was all at once freed from the disease. This fact roused the servants as well, for they came to meet him not only perhaps to announce what had happened but also to prevent Christ from coming since he was no longer needed.” John Chrysostom (344-404 AD)

The Gospel is gloriously infectious, but it cures our sicknesses, renews our hope, overcomes our reticence, and brings the glory and goodness of God to light in the land of the living. How can this begin to be more true in your life?

Closing Prayer
My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.
Let your heart live forever!
All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22.25-28

Psalm 22.23-25 (Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
All you who fear the Lord, now praise His holy Name!
You children of His glorious Word, declare His fame!
We stand in awe of our eternal God, and on His mercy call.

For He has not despised the anguish of our King,
Nor from Him hid His eyes, Who knew such suffering.
Let praise arise from all who love and serve the Ruler of the skies!

T. M. Moore

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, can show you how Jesus is central to all aspects of life in the world – and beyond! Our course is free, and you can study at your own pace, watching videos and using the free materials provided.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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