The Youth’s Instructor


December 4, 1902

Unquestioning Faith


In the city of Capernaum a nobleman's son lies sick unto death. In vain his father has tried to save him. A messenger comes with hurried steps to the mansion, and asks to see the nobleman. He tells him that he has just come from Jerusalem, and that there is in Galilee a prophet of God, declared by some to be the long-expected Messiah. His work has awakened an intense interest in the city of Jerusalem, the messenger says, and crowds follow him wherever he goes. It may be that he can heal the child. YI December 4, 1902, par. 1

As the nobleman listens, the expression of his countenance changes from despair to hope. Determined to leave no means untried to save his child's life, he decides to go himself to see this prophet. The hope born in his soul strengthens as he prepares for his journey. Before the day dawns, he is on his way to Cana of Galilee, where Jesus is supposed to have gone. The journey is long and the road rough, but nothing can deter the anxious father. YI December 4, 1902, par. 2

Finding Jesus, he beseeches him to come to Capernaum and heal his son. “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe,” Jesus answers. To a certain extent, the nobleman did believe, else he would not have taken the long journey at that critical time. But Christ desired to increase his faith. YI December 4, 1902, par. 3

With heartbroken entreaty the father cries, “Sir, come down ere my child die.” He fears that each passing moment will place his son beyond the power of the Healer. But his faith is yet imperfect. Desiring to lead him to perfect faith, the Saviour replies, “Go thy way; thy son liveth.” YI December 4, 1902, par. 4

“And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.” Assured that the death he has dreaded will not come to his son, the nobleman does not ask any question, nor seek any explanation. He believes. Over and over again he repeats the words, “Thy son liveth.” YI December 4, 1902, par. 5

And the power of the words of the Redeemer flashes like lightning from Cana to Capernaum, and the child is healed. The nobleman shows his faith by not insisting on the presence of Jesus, and immediately the power of Satan is rebuked. The dying boy feels the joy of restoration. YI December 4, 1902, par. 6

The watchers by the bedside mark with bated breath the conflict between life and death. And when in an instant the burning fever disappears, they are filled with amazement. Knowing the anxiety of the father, they go to greet him with the joyful tidings. He has only one question to ask, When did the child begin to mend? They tell him, and he is satisfied. He believed when he turned his face homeward; now his faith is crowned with assurance. A holy atmosphere surrounds him, and as he looks upon his son, healed of all disease, spiritual life sanctifies his soul. He is converted. With the simple faith of a little child he receives the great gift of the kingdom of heaven. The same power which restores the child to health, banishes unbelief from the father's heart. YI December 4, 1902, par. 7

What a witness Christ has in this nobleman! He had asked for the life of his son, not expecting to receive anything himself. But he realized that a great power had taken possession of his soul. He recognized Christ as the physician of the soul as well as the body. Overjoyed, filled with peace and gladness, he exclaimed, Today is salvation come to this house. Spiritual life, with all its transforming power, was breathed into his soul, and he proclaimed in Capernaum the wonderful power of the Saviour. YI December 4, 1902, par. 8

In our work for Christ, we need more of the unquestioning faith of the nobleman. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” By faith we behold God in his promises, and are armed with stability. The Christian knows in whom he has believed. He does not only read the Bible; he experiences the power of its teaching. He has not only heard of Christ's righteousness; he has opened the windows of the soul to the light of the Sun of righteousness. He has a knowledge which can not be wrested from him. The one who trusts his Saviour implicitly finds the gates of heaven ajar and flooded with glory from the throne of God. YI December 4, 1902, par. 9

Mrs. E. G. White