Read John 4:43-54 here.
John 4 is best known for the story of the Woman at the Well. However, Jesus’ interaction with the “royal official” also deserves some attention. My sermon had three basic points:
- The official came to Jesus out of desperation, not faith.
- Jesus appears exasperated with people seeking miracles, not concerned with his message or identity.
- In the meeting of desperation and exasperation, Jesus shares God’s love, leading to healing, life, and faith.
A true example of love conquers all.
As I wrote this sermon I was uncertain of the wisdom of labeling Jesus’ attitude as “exasperated”. That sounds like a negative description, and we’re not allowed to ever describe Jesus negatively, are we? (Okay, maybe there’s no such rule but if feels like it should be a rule.) But I’m not sure how else to describe his statement, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe.” He seems frustrated that people aren’t interested in whether or not he’s the Son of God, just whether or not he can perform miracles.
What do you think? Is “frustrated and exasperated” a fair way to describe Jesus in this passage? Can you think of other examples where Jesus displays his humanity? Is thinking of Jesus in this way helpful for your relationship with him, or do you prefer to dwell on his sinless perfection – his “otherness”?
Songs & Scripture
Next week’s sermon will come from John 5:31-47. In this passage Jesus discusses being sent by God. I wonder if any songs come to mind about us (or Jesus) being “sent by God”?
- If you Say Go (released in 2002 by Vineyard Music Group)
- Go (Newsboys, 2006)
- Poured Out like Wine (SFP)
- We Declare that the Kingdom of God is Here (SFP)
- Ring out the Message (SFP)
- Rescue the Perishing