Having Faith – Would you get in the wheelbarrow?

John 4:43-54 Jesus Heals an Official’s Son

The last time Jesus visited we know that Jesus was driven out of his home town, with the threat of
being killed. Now the Galileans welcomed him. If it was me I would be a little uneasy how were they going to react this time.
The royal official had seen Jesus perform miracles so he knew because he saw what Jesus could do. It seems that he didn’t ask out of faith, or belief, it was almost like the royal official only asked because Jesus was the last choice.

Jesus healed the boy because it seemed that there was no other way to make them believe.

It seems like the Galilean’s wanted a Messiah, but it was a Messiah on their terms. They wanted Jesus to perform miracles to order. So why did Jesus perform this miracle if it was for the wrong reason??

Jesus wanted him to believe without seeing, he wanted them to have faith in him, Jesus wanted them to believe that he was the Son of God.

The royal official believed that Jesus had healed his son, as soon as Jesus told the royal official his son was healed, he didn’t question whether he had healed his son, he didn’t insisted Jesus came with him, the royal official believed what Jesus said and went home having faith that his son was healed.

Today we still pray.. Lord give me a sign? Or we bargain with God, God if you do this then I will believe in you? Isn’t this exactly what the Galileans were doing?

This passage isn’t so much about the healing but more about believing and having faith.

What is faith?

I wonder if in your night prayers you asked God – God please my mum is going to be really cross with me if I don’t get the dishes done before she wakes up in the morning. If you believed that God would arrange to have all the washing up done for you in the morning, is that real faith? NO!

God isn’t magic he doesn’t have a magic wand, God wants us to do the dishes because if your mum prepared a fantastic meal it’s only right that you should do the dishes. Why should you get out of it?

I wonder if true faith is trusting that God will give us everything we ask for? so we ask him for a bike or a new games console. When we don’t get what we want, we say to ourselves well now I know God doesn’t exist. Is that real faith? NO!

God isn’t father Christmas, and God certainly isn’t a slot machine, if we really want a new bike, perhaps we should pray for a way to earn the money – to buy a new one. That way perhaps we could help others at the same time.

So what is Faith - it is believing without seeing.

If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to see the room that you are in. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. That’s what faith in God is, believing that God is there even though you can’t see him.

Faith is also about putting what you believe into action.

There is a great story told about a tightrope walker.

There's a wonderful story of a tightrope walker, who was challenged to walk the tightrope across the Niagara Falls. Everything was in place. There were huge steel struts on either side of the canyon to hold the tightrope, and a strong, steel tightrope. There were television cameras, reporters, a massive crowd. But there was no safety net.

The tightrope walker appeared with a wheelbarrow, which he'd decided to push in front of him across the rope. The crowd cheered him on, although some begged him not to make this foolish attempt. One voice in the crowd was more vociferous than the rest: "Go on, you can do it, I know you can. Don't listen to these pessimists. I have complete faith in you."

The tightrope walker turned to the speaker: "You have faith in me? You're certain? You know I can do it?" The speaker emerged from the crowd and nodded. "I'm absolutely certain. I have no doubts at all. You can do it!"

"OK," said the tightrope walker. "Hop into my wheelbarrow. I'll wheel you across!"

Amazingly, the speaker put his money where his mouth was, and climbed into the wheelbarrow. And the tightrope walker wheeled him safely across to the other side. What incredible, courageous, foolhardy faith!
Source unknown

There are many people throughout the bible that had seemingly incredible, courageous, foolhardy faith. They got into the wheelbarrow had faith in Jesus and followed him without knowing where they were going or what was going to happen.

I wonder if any of us have enough faith to get into the wheelbarrow?

Activities for children to illustrate faith.

There are many trust games that you can do with children.

This website has three games for all ages:

If you search trust games for children there are lots available.
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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