In John 4, Jesus heals an official’s son. Some translations refer to this man as a “royal official.” He was a man of importance. He was probably accustomed to getting his way. Everything was under his control. Everything, that is, except life and death. He had no control over life and death and his son was dying. So perhaps it’s in desperation that he comes to Jesus. We don’t really know much more about him. How had he heard about Jesus? Why did he think Jesus could heal his son?
He was in crisis. Jesus was his crisis management tool. He came to Jesus for physical healing for his son; he received so much more.
‘So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “your son lives”; and he himself believed and his whole household’ –John 4:53
How often do we approach Jesus this way? When we’re in crisis, we come to Jesus. Like the aphorism, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” we tend to come to Jesus when there is a crisis—as we should, but is that the only time we come to him?
In the aftermath of 9/11, churches were full, even when it wasn’t Sunday. We were in crisis mode; we turned to Jesus. I’m not sure how quickly it happened or to what degree, but we all know that church attendance dwindled over time. We became comfortable again.
Kind of like the days of Noah. Rain? What was rain? Some scholars believe that before Noah, rain did not exist, using Genesis 2:6 (But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground) as their proof–text. I’m not sure if it rained or not, but this much can be surmised from the Noah narrative: People had no regard for God. It was sunny, life was good. Each man did as he pleased. When the rain came and the flood waters began to rise, I imagine that people went into crisis mode.
So, how do we, do I, come to Jesus? In crisis? “Jesus is my FEMA.” When we need something? I must confess that I often come to Jesus this way. When the flood waters rise, I go to Him. But, when it’s sunny, not so much. The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells that man’s chief end is “to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
So, it seems to me that when we come to Jesus, we should be coming to Him to glorify Him no matter our circumstances. Sunny days, rainy days, crisis, no crisis—it matters not. We’re to glorify God, glorify Jesus just for who He is, not for what He does.
May it be so with all of us, everyday and in every way.