Explore the Bible
October 6, 2013
John 4-6 records four displays of Jesus’ power. Today we highlight the second: the power to save.
Salvation that delivers sinners from the wrath of God, which they experience in hell, is completely the power of God. This power is displayed when a person repents and believes in Christ. This key feature of faith in Christ is illustrated in two contrasting encounters with Jesus in John 4:39-54.
The first encounter (John 4:39-45) focuses on the truth that Jesus’ Word established in the hearts of many Samaritans. The Samaritan woman who encountered Christ at the well (John 4:1-26) could not help but share her experience. Her testimony prompted others to plead for Christ to visit them in a personal way. He came to them and, through His word, brought many to faith.
The second encounter (John 4:46- 54) took place in Cana of Galilee with an official who petitioned for the Healer to come and heal his son. Jesus was not restricted by time and space in order to accomplish His purposes. Therefore, His instruction to go home called for an act of faith on the man’s part. He believed and obeyed the command. John records that Jesus, indeed, healed the son at the very moment He uttered the command.
Both encounters required equal faith despite different circumstances. For the Samaritans, Jesus’ presence, coupled with His authoritative word, served as the vehicle for their saving faith. For the troubled father, a miraculous sign, coupled with a simple command to go, served as the channel whereby divine power was displayed and faith was expressed. Today, the power of God is equally displayed in awe-inspiring ways whether it is through the simple proclamation of His Word or dramatic displays of signs and wonders. We must never discredit the validity of saving faith expressed through the ordinary means of preaching the Word. Signs and wonders do not establish a more solid belief in Christ. Truth alone establishes saving faith!