As we turn on news there always seems to be some type of battle going on, but the root cause of these battles is always spiritual because we live in a fallen world. The greatest battle is not about money or power, but for the souls of mankind. There is a battle for our hearts. The enemy will do whatever he can to lure people away from the Lord.
Jesus Knew the Battle of the Heart
In this week’s story from John 4:43-54, we see several battles. First, we see that while Jesus’ hometown did not welcome Him, the Galileans did. John 4: John 4:43 At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there. The Galileans seemed to have more open hearts because of the miracles of Jesus.
Second, there must be some in the crowd who don’t want to believe in Jesus but just want to watch miracles. It has been said that we should desire to look at the face of Jesus which is our relationship with Him, and not at His hands or what Jesus can do for us.
John 4: 46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die. 48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?” 
The response of Jesus to the government official’s request sounds odd to our 21st century ears. It seems rude and almost off topic. But is Jesus asking this of the official or the crowd? Earlier in his Gospel, John had commented about Jesus. John 2: 23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew all about people. 25 No one needed to tell him about human nature, for he knew what was in each person’s heart.
The Fickleness of Hearts
Jesus knew the fickleness of human hearts. We may acknowledge Jesus but want Him to act in the way we want. There is a battle for our hearts. When Jesus acts in a different way than expected, some are offended and walk away. Did Jesus know that there were some in the crowd that came for the spectacle of the miracles? Did some want Jesus to save them from their problems on their terms?
The government official didn’t get all that he requested from Jesus. Jesus did not travel to Capernaum but did heal his son. The trust this official showed as he left Jesus for home resulted not only in the healing of his son, but in all the household becoming believers.
What about you? Are you willing to lay down your expectations for a Savior to allow Jesus to become your Lord? Can you trust, like the government official, that even though Jesus wasn’t saving his son as he expected, Jesus could be doing something even greater?
To hear more about the battle for our hearts, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-a-government-official
[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.