Fresh Hope – 2nd October 2020

Like many men I don’t like bothering with complicated instructions. That flat-pack wardrobe? No problem! Who needs to check all the parts are there and do it in the right order? It can’t be that difficult. Can it? 

Several frustrating, angry hours later we end up with almost the right result and a few spare components. A bit wobbly here and there, but it will do!

Fortunately, Jesus tends to keep things simple and straightforward. However, we then try and make it far more complicated than it needs to be. In the Gospel of John Chapter 4: 49 – 53 we see a great example of Jesus keeping the instructions simple and to the point.

‘The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.  When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.”

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed.’

Just put yourself in the position of the royal official. Your son is dying, you hear of a preacher who has been seen to perform miracles and you journey to see him. 

You arrive to see Jesus and tell him about your son, Jesus says to you ‘Go, your son will live’. So without a further word you just accept this, turn around and start the journey home. I am not sure that my reaction would be like that.

There are a number of things to draw on here:

• The man had been on his way back home for around a day when his servants met him to tell him the news. From the passage we can work out that he had probably travelled for at least two days to see Jesus. How far are we prepared to ‘travel’ to see our miracle? Or is it too far out of our way and easier just to keep waiting where we are?

• After a long journey he turns around after just five words from Jesus. Are we expecting a book, a page, a paragraph when just one word accompanied by our faith is enough?

• He had complete faith in Jesus, ‘he took him at his word’ it says. Do we believe what Jesus tells us? Do we ‘take him at his Word’? Or are we so often guilty of second guessing and trying to use our ‘wisdom’ rather than just doing what we are asked?

• He did not see the miracle happen, it was waiting for him at his destination. How often do we ‘hang around Jesus’ and look for more words and reassurance rather than just obeying and moving on to the destination Jesus has given us? If we don’t go then we will not see the miracle and Jesus will be waiting for us when we get there.

Listen, Believe, Obey, Go – it is as simple (or as hard!) as that, and the result will not be at all wobbly!

Richard Ashmore

A daily devotion for a better way of living.