John 4:43-54; 1 Chronicles 17; Zechariah 6
An advertising slogan that really caught on was a certain company asking what you would do for one of their products. (The name of course isn’t mentioned because they don’t need free publicity. I would, however, change this paragraph up if they wished to sponsor this post with some big bucks…or maybe a couple of cases of their product.) In those commercials, people are asked to do ridiculous things so that they can get one of those products. And they do them, of course, because their product is so ridiculously great that people would do almost anything to get a bite of their delicious offering. The subtext, of course, is that you only have to pay a small amount to buy one instead of having to perform ridiculous actions. This creamy goodness can be yours for small change instead of singing about a teapot.
As much as what people might do just to eat one of those products, a parent will do far more to protect or take care of their child. Some parents go too far, and get the label of being a helicopter parent because they’re always hovering around the child. When it comes to sports or school, they may need to let kids succeed, or fail, on their own. When a child is sick, though, and a cure seems next to impossible, a parent will do whatever they can to help their child. “When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. ‘Unless you people see signs and wonders,’ Jesus told him, ‘you will never believe.’ The royal official said, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ ‘Go,’ Jesus replied, ‘your son will live.’ The man took Jesus at his word and departed.” (John 4:47-50)
When it comes to children, we have no shame. “This man” in the story is a royal official. Royalty or not, his kid was sick and his only was for Jesus to heal him. He had to travel a fair distance to see Jesus, but travel was a small inconvenience to pay for his son’s health. He not only traveled, he, a royal official begged Jesus, a wandering teacher about whom people told some amazing stories, to heal his son. Jesus responded by noting the people’s needs for signs – “Unless you see signs and wonders, you won’t believe.” The royal official made sure that Jesus realized that he wasn’t looking for a sign or a wonder, he had a son that was going to die if Jesus didn’t do something about it. Jesus then told the man that he could go because his son would live. He had come a day’s travel to “fetch” Jesus so that Jesus would heal his son. He wasn’t going to take no for an answer. Once Jesus spoke, though, he took Jesus at his word and left to go back to his son. Along the way, he was told that his son was doing better.
In Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class, he uses the example of a parent saving money for a lifesaving medical procedure for their child to show how we can save money if it’s important enough. We will do whatever it takes to care for our children. It’s natural. It’s instinct. If that describes you, then it should remind us that part of the care we should have for our children is for the spiritual health of our children. We all know that we must teach our children in the ways of the Lord, and yet, Children’s Ministers can’t seem to find enough workers. The most important qualification in caring for children is love: love for the Lord and love for the children. You may not be a skilled teacher, but kids aren’t worried if you know all the theological implications of a certain verse. They will be able to tell whether or not you really love them. Children are the future of the faith and we need to learn how to share the love of Jesus with them and how to bring out the best in them.
Dear Lord, I pray for the children. Many are physically ill and need healing. Others have fallen away from you spiritually and need to know Your grace and healing. Use me to show them Your love.