Hi everyone, my name is Mick Woodhead and with my wife Tricia, we have the great privilege of leading this exciting church, STC Sheffield. We hope you are enjoying our daily Podcasts and they are encouraging you in your walk with Jesus – if so, why not pass them on to friends, family or perhaps a colleague through the link on from our website or you can find us on iTunes.
It’s Monday, the beginning of the working week for many of us, and today we continue our series in John’s gospel as I pick up the baton from my colleague James Brown and his excellent reflections last week. The thread running through all this week is that of ‘conversations’ – people who met with and talked with Jesus.
Conversations are part of our human existence, I’m sure you will have many conversation today and this coming week – times to talk and chat. However, really good conversations are few and far between because they involve not only times to talk but times to listen. Some of you may remember the American musicians Simon & Garfunkel and their famous hit ‘Sound of Silence’; yes, I know it was a few years ago but it’s still a great song with lots of cover versions today from other artists. In fact, check out the Indie lullaby version by the Abbasi brothers, I kid you not! The original song contains this great line ‘people talking without speaking; people hearing without listening’ and that sums up perfectly what a bad conversation is – people who talk but never say anything and never really listen to what is being said. As a Vicar I have met lots of people like this over the years; they never really want to listen to you, they are just waiting for an opportunity to about themselves!
Jesus was so clear in his conversations; he listened to people but was also listening to God his Father; he then spoke words of clarity, comfort, wisdom, encouragement and challenge. Monday’s top tip – listen to people and listen to God! We have so much to learn this week about building Godly relationships through Godly conversations.
Today’s Bible reading is John 4:39-54 – here we see two amazing conversations. The first, is the end of the story of Jesus encounter with the woman at the well which you heard last week from James, summed up with this final statement in v42 ‘now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.” What a way to end a conversation!
Then the second story of the healing a young boy. Jesus goes back to Galilee where the famous ‘water into wine’ story took place – the first of seven signs in Johns gospel pointing to Jesus being the Son of God – we will see four more signs in this weeks Podcasts. In this conversation; the official, perhaps a top civil servant tells Jesus his son is very ill – then an amazing short conversation takes place culminating in this child being healed. The remarkable end to this story is v53, our focus verse for today ‘so he and his whole household believed’. Tricia and I pray for our family every day and this verse is a prompt to us to press on in prayer for those we love! Do pray for your household, your family today and every day – it works!
As we begin this working week we can be assured it will be a week of conversations. So what can we learn from this story and put into practice this week? Two things to consider:
First, looking UP – how can I spend a little more time with Jesus this week, to have a longer conversation with him rather than the short ‘chats’ which our busy lives often squeeze us into? Not easy, but not impossible!
Second, looking OUT – is there someone I need to have a conversation with today or this week – perhaps to give encouragement, support, comfort or even challenge? Maybe it’s a conversation about faith; perhaps an opportunity to share my faith in Jesus?
This will be a week of conversations – conversations with God and conversations for God. Exciting!
Lord Jesus, thank you that in all the busyness of life, you are always there ready to listen to me and speak to me. Help me remember this truth this week. Amen
READING: John 4:39-54
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I’ve ever done.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world.’
After the two days he left for Galilee. (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honour in his own country.) When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay ill at Capernaum. 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. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he enquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, ‘Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.’
Then the father realised that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he and his whole household believed.
This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.