Doubting in the Face of Truth

2/26/2013

John 4:43-54 (King James Version)

Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine.

And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

Then said Jesus unto him, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."

The nobleman saith unto him, "Sir, come down ere my child die."

Jesus saith unto him, "Go thy way; thy son liveth."

And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, "Thy son liveth." Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend.

And they said unto him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him."

So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

Scripture Focus

Then said Jesus unto him, ”Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48, KJV)

Doubting in the Face of Truth

We are an odd lot, we humans. Sometimes a truth will reach up and smack us upside the head – and we will still doubt.
 
When I was a kid my mom tried to get me to eat artichokes. I mean, seriously – what kid on the face of the planet would ever eat a thing called “artichokes”? For years I resisted, I balked, I just said no. Finally she stopped asking.
 
Then, years later, my wife put something on the table I did not recognize. “What is this?” I mumbled, my mouth full of – uh – something. “Those are artichokes,” she said. I stopped, mid-chew, and my mother’s encouragement came ringing back to me. Here is a truth: artichokes are good.
 
Sometimes a truth will reach up and smack us upside the head – and we will still doubt.
 
O Lord, O Lord, prove to me that you love me! Heal my infirmities! Fix my relationship! Settle my finances! Find me a job! Help me win the lottery! Help me pass this test! Do this for me!! Do that for me! Prove to me that I get to live forever! Give me a miracle – or I’m going home.
 
And yet, the sun still rises. Water is still wet. Flowers still smell sweet. And birds still sing. God has promised to care for us in this life (see Matthew 6). If the promises of this life are kept, why do we worry that God might not keep the promises made about the next?
 
Sometimes a truth will reach up and smack us upside the head – and we will still doubt.
 

Prayer

Gracious God, open our eyes, open our hearts, open our minds. Help us believe even where we have not seen. Amen.
 

Wally Carlson is the pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Charleston.