So many people believe in Jesus and call themselves Christians, and yet so many of those people are not true believers. What makes the difference? How can you know for sure that you are a believer and not just someone who believes?
Obviously this official had heard about Jesus and believed that He could heal his son. Otherwise, why leave his son’s bedside when the boy was so close to death? There was clearly a knowledge about who Jesus was and the power that He had. The official believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he was not a believer at this point.
Then Jesus makes a statement that doesn’t seem to address what the official asked. He says, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
There is much commentary and discussion about the “you” being plural and referring as much to the Galilean people as to the official, but what I noticed immediately was how that statement was prophetic to the official and how he came to be a believer. It was uniquely personal to him.
The official, whose son is at the point of death, can respond with nothing except a final plea for Jesus to come before his child dies. Jesus, who is never late but always right on time, says simply, “Go; your son will live.” No fanfare, no trumpets, no choir of angels singing in the background; simply a Word of Power from the God of Creation!
“The man believed the word that Jesus had spoken to him and went on his way,” the Scriptures record.
The official believed that Jesus could heal his son, but he was still not a believer at this point.
The official believed that Jesus had healed his son, but again, was not a believer at this point.
In fact, it was not until the official met the servant and was told what time the boy had recovered that he became a believer, just as Jesus had prophesied when He said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
Then the official became a believer and his entire family as well. Why? Because it became personal!
So, are you a believer?
Or do you just believe?
The difference is life or death.