Introduction: One of the problems I have with 21st century Christians is that we’ve kind of put God in a bottle. God in a bottle looks like this: If you want something from
God, you pray and have faith that you’ll receive it, and if you don’t receive it, then your faith is weak. Period! But that’s not how it works. I know how many times I have asked
God for something and later I was glad God didn’t answer my prayer. So, sometimes we pray and ask God for something, and God will reply with “NO”. Not because we lack
faith, but because we lack wisdom.
This royal official’s experience provided the growing kind of faith that I believe every Christian should experience.
1. BEGINNER — John 4:46-47
What does a beginner in faith level look like? A beginner faith is the one that will come to Jesus ONLY WHEN we have a major, existential crisis. Unfortunately it usually
takes “a desperate need” for many to come to Jesus. Now, I like this Nobleman’s faith, at least he understood that this crisis is out of his control and seeks the ONLY ONE who
has authority. BUT you listening to me today, what are you going to do when you face existential crisis? How will you react? Cry? Or come to Jesus?
Secondly, “he begged Jesus”. Begging here implies repeated or persistent action. The request was not casual but insistent. The man did not let his high position
keep him from Jesus. What is keeping you from Jesus?
This man knew that his son might die while he was away — remember 38km (7 hours 36 minutes journey). However, he was desperate.
2. INTERMEDIATE — John 4: 48—49
Intermediate level faith is when you have to see in order to really believe. The man was in no position to argue, not even to think through what Jesus had just said. He was
desperate. A severe disaster had stricken his life. He believed Jesus was the only One who could help him, and he was determined to secure Jesus’ help. “Sir, come down
before my child dies!” This was the man’s response to what Jesus had just said. Note two significant points. (1) The man did not allow Jesus’ rebuke to deter him, and (2) he
kept after Jesus. Persistence shows that you really recognize and acknowledge your need and really believe that Jesus can help and will help. Don’t give up on God.
3. ADVANCED FAITH — John 4:50
What does an advanced faith look like? “So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way.” Note that the response of Jesus was still casual
and impersonal. Jesus, being a teacher needs to take this nobleman from beginner level faith to master lever faith, and here is the test:
(a) If this man refused to return to Capernaum without taking Jesus with him, he would show that he did not believe Jesus word (b) If he followed Jesus order, he would be
returning to the dying boy with no outward assurance that the boy would recover (he didn’t see no sign or wonder). An advanced faith is when you take Jesus at His word.
Faith — the evidence of things not seen. I believe that Jesus would have healed this man’s son no matter what, but the man needs to climb from Intermediate level to an
advanced level. So, he was forced to make a difficult choice between insisting on evidence or exercising faith without any tangible proof to encourage him. And guess what, this nobleman passed the test: he ;took Jesus at his word and went back to his home. Intermediate faith is seeing in order to believe but advanced faith is believing in
order to see.
4. PRO FAITH — John 4: 51
What does a PRO FAITH look like? “While he was still on the way”… He was in the act of obeying Christ when he received the news that his prayer was answered. A PRO Faith
is when you believe and obey. Both belief and obedience are the two key factors in a PRO Faith level. Without this combo, it is impossible to be on this level. All of the miracles
and breakthroughs on this level need belief and obedience.
5. MASTER FAITH — John 4:52 — 53
A master level faith combines all the experiences of all the FOUR LEVELS and turns them into a witnessing faith. “And his whole household believed.” You know Jesus
can do the impossible; you know Jesus can do the impossible; you know Jesus can do the impossible — and you tell everyone that Jesus can do the impossible and all you
need to do it just believe and obey. This nobleman started witnessing to his household this is your starting point: your household; your roommate/flat mate; your colleague or
Conclusion: When it comes to the things of God, you have to believe in order to see. Will you continue to believe even if it doesn’t make any sense? Will you continue to take
Jesus at His word? No matter where you are on your faith level, are you going to still believe in Jesus and His word? I can guarantee you that if you hold on to Jesus; you will
see the glory of God and will witness the impossible.