Week of Monday, November 22 ­– Sunday, November 28
Bring It Home – Man as Provider
“The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’ 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 4:49-53 ESV
Every parent’s deepest fear is the death of a child. That somehow, someday, in an accident or by illness or through some other tragic means, one of our children will be taken from us. Nothing seems more unnatural. It is a prospect so dark that we can hardly bear the thought of it, much less speak of it. Having to bury one of our own children is a tragedy we silently pray we will never have to endure.
The official in this story, who was likely a nobleman connected to Herod Antipas, was grappling with that very fear, and it led to his frantic search and his desperate plea for Jesus to heal his son. We do not know the exact nature of the son’s illness other than he had a high fever and was near the point of death. Neither do we know the son’s name or age, but we assume he is not yet an adult. The boy’s mother is not mentioned in this story, but we can assume that she stayed at his bedside and shared this father’s profound concern.
We can only imagine the urgency as this desperate dad pleaded his case to Jesus. The text in the original language indicates he begged repeatedly: “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Seeing this man’s faith, Jesus gave the official a command and a promise: “Go; your son will live” (v. 49). His faith in Jesus appropriated God’s power to miraculously bring life to his child. In fact, his faith was deepened and strengthened when he met his servants bearing the good news and found out that the very hour Jesus spoke the word was when his son was healed. Verse 53 gives us the result: “And he himself believed, and all his household.”
Don’t miss that last part because it is the point. This father put his faith in Jesus, then brought it back home and shared it, and his whole family believed. When we think of our role as Provider, our minds automatically go to the practical implications of food, shelter, and clothing. Yet as we see in these verses, there is much more required of us as Providers. We need to take a lesson from this nobleman who brought his faith home and provided a spiritual atmosphere so that his faith ultimately became their faith.  
This is perhaps more important today than at any other time in history. According to George Barna, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, a child’s worldview develops between 15-18 months and 13 years of age. So, by age 13 you develop lifelong characteristics: moral foundations, theological foundations, faith commitments, priorities, and habits. Barna concludes that with a few exceptions and modifications… “you will die believing what you believed at age 13.”[1] Men, providing a godly atmosphere for your family is absolutely critical if your faith is to become their faith. So bring it home!
  • As you assess your role as Provider, are you providing a compelling personal testimony to God’s work in your life and actively encouraging those in your home to follow you in faith? Or are you basically relying on others (e.g., ministers, teachers, wife, grandparents) to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to molding and shaping your children spiritually?  
  • What changes in time management and specific plans do you need to make for you to provide a more meaningful spiritual atmosphere in your home? A great place to start is reading through the Bible with your family. Text the word “Bible” to 67742 to get started.  
  • Ask God to help you bring each member of your household to know and love the Lord as you do, so that your faith would ultimately become their faith.
[1] Cultural Research Center – Arizona Christian University, “American Worldview Inventory 2020: Final Release #12 – Restoring America by Reframing Its Worldview,” press release, November 10, 2020, https://www.arizonachristian.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/CRC_AWVI-2020_Release12_Restoring-America-by-Reframing-Its-Worldview.pdf.