Tidings for Tuesday

The nobleman saith unto Him, Sir, come down ere my child die. John 4 :49

I had a problem with one of the applications on my computer, so I called the technical support line. The technician who came on the line had some good troubleshooting question to ask, but I couldn’t figure out how to access some of the things he needed. So he asked for permission to take over the controls on the computer so he could work on the issue himself. I agreed and sat back and watched. From hundreds of kilometers away, he began moving the mouse around the screen, opening forms, filling in information, and configuring settings. In a short time, he had the problem resolved, and I was a satisfied customer. The technician’s remote approach was much faster and more efficient than having someone come to the house to work on the problem. Our text today sets up the nobleman for a remote response from the Lord Jesus, who perfected this method long before computer networks were invented.

We know the story, how the nobleman was assured that his son would live, and how that, the next day, he discovered the lad began to mend at the moment that Jesus spoke the words. It wasn’t the way the nobleman expected Jesus to work. That is often the case with us, where God answers our urgent requests in ways that we totally don’t expect. Like the nobleman, we know exactly what we need. But we don’t know the best way for our prayers to be answered. Like the nobleman, we often ask God to move in ways that we expect or desire. The nobleman thought Jesus’ presence at his son’s bedside was required. He failed to understand Jesus’ knowledge and power. Sometimes, we do that, too. Just as Jesus had no need to travel a day’s journey to the nobleman’s house, he has no need today to follow our little plans as to how to carry out His purposes.

Although imperfect, the nobleman’s plea was urgent. His son was dying. He went to the right place for help. There is much we can commend this man for, especially for his faith. Jesus heard his plea, just as He hears all our pleas, and knows all the details behind them. Although not in the way he expected, he did receive what he asked for. We often lack the faith of this nobleman. We ask often in an atmosphere of misunderstanding. But just as Jesus cared about the nobleman’s son, He cares about our troubles today. He hears all of our pleas, although He responds according to His own wisdom.

Don’t box the Lord into your idea of answers to prayer. His response may be much more exciting than you expect. – Jim MacIntosh

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