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Authority and Faith

Today’s Reading

Second Kings 6-8; John 4:31-54

Selected Verses

And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, “I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.’” 2 Kings 7:12

The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. John 4:53

Reflections

The king of Israel heard that the Syrian army had fled, leaving their equipment and food behind. Even though Elisha had already prophesied that there would be abundance of food within a day, the king suspected a trick. He assumed that Elisha was wrong, so he was not expecting some kind of miraculous intervention. But the prophet was right and the king was wrong. Did his position as king cause him to be more self-confident and less willing to believe God’s word through His prophet? It seems that those who have the most power and wealth sense the least need for divine assistance.

But this is not always the case. When Jesus arrived at Cana, an official of King Herod the Tetrarch went to Jesus requesting healing for his son. The official hoped that Jesus would come to his home and heal the boy, but Jesus rebuked him for seeking signs and wonders as a basis for faith. The man implored him again and Jesus sent him on his way with a promise that his son would be well. The healing occurred at the hour Jesus had spoken. Jesus was being constantly tested by the people who requested signs, but, in the case of the official, Jesus tested him to see if he believed enough to return home with only the assurance of the Lord’s word. He passed the test and believed, as did his whole household.

Think about it

Having power and wealth does not help a person to believe the truth. It may even hinder faith. What makes a person believe is the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit in his or her heart. No one comes to Christ without the drawing of the Father (John 6:44).

If you believe God, it is not because you have some inherent wisdom to do so. It is His doing completely. You believe because He drew you. He drew you because He wanted to. You responded because He gave you a heart to believe. For that He deserves all your praise.

© 2017 John A Carroll Used by permission

 

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