Since birth I have been wild about swimming, almost to the point of having been born with gills. My summers were spent growing from baby pools to the shallow end to the deep end. All that preparation and work still never prepared me for the high dive. It was a wooden platform fixed above the deep end of the pool which seemed in my 5 year old eyes as nearly 2 miles above the surface of the pool. We all waited our turn. First my older red headed cousin ran and jumped into his favorite ninja move propelling himself right into the deep end. Next up was my dad. Not to be out done by his nephew, he jumped attempting to do a some sort of can opener-cannonball- belly flop where the waves would come pouring out of the pool. Now… my turn… I mustered my energy, stepped to the ledge of the platform and… froze. I could see the impatient kids behind me annoyed by my cowardice. I also knew that the easy path, the path of safety and security, was also the path of shame. It was the walk down the stairs past every one of the kids who saw my shame. I also heard the lifeguard… “go or get off”. Finally I saw my dad, treading water just below the platform. “Wes, don’t worry, just jump, I’ll catch you”. So, after what seemed like hours in slow motion, I did it. I jumped straight into my dad’s arms. It was awesome. I ran straight back up the stairs. This time it was to outdo my cousin- I had a Ninja Turtle move to do.
In John 4, a man approaches Jesus. He knows what Jesus has done, has heard the stories for himself, yet he had not seen a miracle with his own eyes. This man’s son was sick, and in one brave and daring act, he simply asked Jesus to heal his son. Jesus told the man that there was not enough evidence for him to make such a request, yet the man asked more fervently. Seeing the man’s persistence Jesus told the man to go home for his son was healed. Upon coming home the man saw his son and asked his servants when he had recovered… their response correlated perfectly with the exact moment Christ spoke.
In life, we all must take leaps of faith. In life, we all must understand the limitations of our own flesh. The man of our story this week knew there was no hope for his son if Jesus did not intervene. The truth is, there is no hope for any man if Jesus did not intervene. We are all destined for death. We are all bound to hell. That’s just what we deserve.
On the cross, Jesus Christ accepted the death for all men by bearing God’s wrath for our sin. What scripture teaches is that we are called to simply believe that Jesus has done what scripture says He has done. It is to jump out of the safety of self reliant works and hold solely to Jesus Christ. Faith is believing that God will do what He says He will do. It is not our faith that brings us security — it is God who brings us our security.