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First, faith, later signs and wonders

John 4:46-54

Pastor David Ernst

Pentecost 22, Proper 24, series B
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela


right-click to download MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Oct 21, 2018 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Let us speak of the relationship between faith and the signs or the miracles of God. A miracle is a moment when the Lord shows His power over nature. Natural laws are suspended. We find many stories of miracles, signs and wonders in the Bible, especially in the New Testament. The life of Jesus Christ began with a miracle central to our faith, His conception by the Holy Spirit and birth to the Virgin Mary. Normally, a couple is necessary to make a child, but in the case of Jesus, no. The evangelists continue with accounts of the miracles of healing by Jesus.

In a different way from Matthew, Mark and Luke, the Apostle John does not use words for miracles or wonders, he only speaks of the signs of Jesus, and only of seven signs. In our text for today we find the second of these signs. The first was in the small town of Cana, when Jesus turned water into wine for weddings. He did this sign in Cana too.

"Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee, where he had turned water into wine. And there was in Capernaum an officer of the king, whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus was coming from Judea to Galilee, he came to him and begged him to come down and heal his son, because he was about to die. "

Capernaum was a long distance from Cana, however, this officer of King Herod Antipas came personally to Cana to speak with Jesus face to face. He had a problem without remedy for his influence with the king, a son to the point of death.

Today we have a health crisis in Venezuela, a shortage of medicines that many people need for their diseases. But, at that time, there were no medicines or treatments to help those who were about to die. Evidently this officer heard something about Jesus and His miracles of healing. So, he asked for his help in the case of his son.

"Then Jesus said to him, Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe." Why did Jesus answer him in this way? To teach the officer and we something about the faith and signs.

What is the world's way of thinking about God? In daily life, when everything is fine? No, when problems and tests are encountered. First, they look to their riches, their friends, their families or the government for help. They only think of God as the last option, when there is no other hope. If the Lord answers your prayers, they may believe in Him for a while. But, they forget God in good times again.

But, this is not the relationship that God wants with us. We must trust in God first. We must seek the will of God in our daily lives. If we trust in God in this way, we can see the hand of God in many things that the world does not consider wonderful. God can use natural processes to give us blessings. In this sense, the birth of each baby is a miracle and a gift from God.

There are other people who do not believe in supernature. There are only natural processes that we can understand and control by human reason. But, often the reason and other human forces fail and they seek God's help because there is no other hope. But it is better to believe in the power and Word of God at the first time.

When Jesus told them, "Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe," the man replied, "Lord, come down before my son dies." But, Jesus answered, "Go, your son lives." And the man returned to his house without evidence of his son's recovery, he only relied on the word of Jesus.

"And when he was already coming down, his servants came out to meet him, and told him, saying, Your son lives. Then he asked them at what time he had begun to improve. And they said to him: Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. Then the father understood that that hour was when Jesus said to him: Your son lives; and he believed, and all his house. "

When he believed in the Word of Jesus without evidence, at that moment Jesus showed his power. These are the terms of our relationship with God. He has all the power. We should not say, "Oh, God, show me His power and in you I believe." No, God tells us, "You trust me and I show you my power."

Why does God deal with us in this way? Because as our heavenly Father, he loves us. Parents who love their children, want to teach their children to walk. A child can not learn to walk if the parents do not allow the possibility of falling. But, the child should not only learn to trust in himself, also trust his parents even when his parents are not by his side. He should understand it does not matter if the parents do not give him anything he wants at any time, the parents think about his welfare.

God's will for us is to stand firm in this world of trials and dangers. We should not always ask, "Where is God in my life?" But to trust in the Word of God and its promises. As the official of the king, the Word of God must be enough for us. In the Word, we have all the signs we need for salvation. The miracle above all is the resurrection of our Lord on the third day. In this, we have the promise of our resurrection and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.





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