Half A Mustard Seed

Posted on May 24, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.’ The nobleman said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your son lives.’ So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.”- John 4:48-50 (NKJV)


If turning water into wine at Cana appears to be the first recorded miracle Jesus performed in John’s Gospel, then healing the nobleman’s son would be the second. By the time this had happened, Jesus was already at “rock star” status. As He journeyed back to Cana, after explaining a few things the woman at the well and her entire community in Samaria needed to hear, Jesus is met by a certain royal official along the way to Capernaum whose son was sick. We have little to go on as far as this nobleman’s faith is concerned, but if the statement, “It has been found in some hour of mortal peril that persons of no religion will invoke the mercy of that Being who, up to that moment, they have denied” has needed Scripture to back it up, its right here in John 4:46-54.


It’ll be the compassion of Christ that will end up taking center stage. If this man truly had no faith at all, my guess is he’s not walking to Jesus to beg for his son’s life. The contrary appears to be true here, he had a least of glimmer of faith that Jesus would heal his son or else he wouldn’t be begging Jesus him, that simple. Jesus takes a moment and address the situation. “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.” What? “Dude, not sure what you’re talking about, but we better get a move-on before my child dies!”


Now, it’s not only gonna be the compassion of Christ that’ll heals the nobleman’s son, but it’ll also do a little something to this nobleman’s faith. John 4:49-50 shows us a moment where Jesus says something along the lines of, “You ain’t pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down, are ya?” woulda fit in nicely after this father says, “Sir come down before my son dies” but He doesn’t. Instead, it’s “Go your way; your son lives” and whatever inflection was in the tone of Jesus’ voice, it was enough to comfort this man and send him along his way.


“So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your son lives.’ And he himself believed, and his whole household.” – John 4:53


It has been said that, “there are no atheists in a foxhole” and that’s a solid truth. If you come out of one on your own, you could be greeted with all kinds of nastiness that’ll knock you down. But if Jesus were to look down that hole and say, “You can come out now” would you exercise a mustard seed-sized faith and climb out? I know I did when it was beyond rough, and I was in the nobleman’s position (as far as the believing what Jesus says) and the starting my Christian walk. But do you notice that Jesus doesn’t grant the entire request? Jesus did the “heal my son” part, and there was never a doubt He wouldn’t. It was the “come down” part that He does not do. Why?


Even though we can all see that the faith of this certain royal official wasn’t up to snuff. By showing Jesus he had faith enough to journey almost 20 miles to request that his son be healed, Jesus helped him develop a mustard seed of faith and that will turn into something that we find, at the end of Chapter 4 in John’s Gospel, is very cool, “…and he himself believed, and his whole household.” I wonder if this certain royal official ever heard, “He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” (Psalm 107:20) Hmm…


So, at the end of the day, what we have here is a father who was willing to do whatever it took to have his son healed. And I’ll say this, he must have been past the point of humiliation because in some translations, the word “beg” is used, and that is not a dignified position for any royal official. Hmmm… Jesus saw right through all of it and went right after the heart of the matter, unbelief.


So, in closing, in order to have faith, we must believe that Jesus’ Word is true. The conviction that the father experienced, and the end result of Jesus healing the son, took that mustard seed outta the foxhole and it grew to save an entire household. If it was done then, it can be done now. Believe that! Amen?


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at cphughes515@verizon.net.

Think About This: “Affliction brings out graces that cannot be seen in a time of health. It is the treading of the grapes that brings out the sweet juices of the vine; so it is affliction that draws forth submission, weanedness from the world, and complete rest in God. Use afflictions while you have them.” — Robert Murray McCheyne

The Daily Bible Reading: 1 Chronicles 27-29 . You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “… who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” – Hebrews 1:3-4

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