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The Scriptorium

Learning to Believe

There are stages of faith, and that's OK.

The Gospel of John: John 4.43-54

Read and meditate on John 4.43-54.

John’s gospel, like the other three, teach us to follow the Lord by stories as much as by instruction. John doesn’t just want us to enjoy these vignettes. He wants us to learn from them. He wants us to learn what it means to believe in Jesus with such conviction, that others come to believe in Him as well.

           43Now Jesus spent two days among
them, then departed, and to Galilee
returned. 44For He had said that there would be
no honor for a prophet in his own
home town or country. 45When He reached the town
in Galilee which was His home, then all
the Galileans welcomed Him, who saw
the things He’d done back in Jerusalem,
there at the feast, for they were there with Him.

46So Jesus came again to Cana, there
in Galilee, the little village where
He made the water wine. A certain one
was there, a nobleman, who had a son
back in Capernaum, and he was sick.
47And when he heard that Jesus had come back
to Galilee, he went to Him, and pled
with Him to heal his son, now nearly dead.
48Then Jesus said, “Unless you people see
more signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
49The nobleman replied, “Please, Sir, come down
and heal my son, before he dies!” 50“Go on

your way,” said Jesus. “Your son lives.” And so
the man believed the word that Jesus spoke
to him, and went his way. 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 4.43-54

1.  Jesus said He had come to seek and save the lost (Jn. 10). From what we see in this story, what does it mean to seek the lost? Would you describe yourself as a seeker of lost people? Why or why not? Complete this prayer: Lord, I want to be a seeker like You! Show me today…

2.  This story also teaches us to think about the ways people come to believe in Jesus. First, of course, they need to know Who Jesus is, and where they might find Him. How should this factor into your witness for the Lord? Let people see You in me today Lord, as I…

3.  Next, people need to hear Jesus speaking to them. How can that happen in your Personal Mission Field? Why, according to Hebrews 4.12, is this part of your witness so important? How can you improve in this? Give me a new Word from Your Word today, O Lord, so that I might include it when…

4.  Further, we need to remember that coming to true belief can be a process. If we are careful to sow seeds of Gospel truth into people’s minds, some of those may take root and begin to grow. As you think about it, what are the most important foundational ideas you would like to sow into the thinking of the people to whom God has sent you? Are you praying about how you might improve in doing this? I do pray, Lord, that You would help me to be more alert and more consistent in…

5.  We should expect the Gospel to spread from those who believe to those who have needs of one kind or another. And we should not be surprised when healing at one level – a restored child – leads to healing at a deeper and more important level – believing in Jesus for salvation. How can you and your Christian friends help one another to be more consistent in seeking the lost and sowing the Good News? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“The one command of the Savior heals two souls. In the official, the Savior’s command brings about unexpected faith even as it also rescues the child from bodily death. It is difficult to say which one is healed first. Both, I suppose, are healed simultaneously. The disease left at the command of the Savior. The official’s servants meet him and tell him of the healing of the child. This shows at the same time the swiftness of the divine commands and how wisely Christ ordered all of this. They speedily confirmed the hope of their master, who was weak in faith.… When the official learned that the sick child’s recovery coincided exactly with Jesus’ command, he is saved with ‘his whole house.’ He attributes the power of the miracle to the Savior Christ, and he is brought to a firmer faith.” Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD)

The Gospel is the power of God for salvation – for wholeness and gladness and purpose and hope. How is this evident in your life?

Closing Prayer
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 isthe LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations.

Psalm 22.27, 28

Psalm 22.26-28 (Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord is King)
The suff’ring King shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!

All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord;
All those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King! His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!

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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