May 7

Text: Matthew 14:34-36

And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.  And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick;  and they began to entreat Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured. (NASB)

People enjoy sharing wonderful discoveries!  If a lady finds something that makes an easy meal, she shares her discovery.  If a man finds a tool that makes a common, hard job simple, he tells others.  We are powerfully affected by “word-of-mouth” testimony!  The experiences of a trusted person are valued!

Imagine the commotion Jesus’ arrival anywhere caused.  Here, when Jesus arrived, he was recognized.  Word spread: “Jesus is here—bring the sick!”  Word traveled as quickly as possible to nearby villages.  Soon a few became a crowd, and a crowd became a multitude.

The common request was for healing.  The sick of the area came as quickly as possible.  Those who were able walked.  Those who were too ill to walk were carried by family or friends.

Can you imagine such occasions?  This was no mannered gathering characterized by calmness that flowed from patient people.  Can you hear the noise of the well pushing to gain Jesus’ attention?  Can you hear the cries and moans of suffering people who were rushed to Jesus?  Can you smell the odors of so many sick people who suffered from every imaginable illness?  Can you see the anguish of those who feared Jesus would leave before their sick were healed?  Can you think of a better formula for chaos?

The people in this place made a request based on Numbers 15:37-41.  Israelites wore tassels made of blue thread on their outer garments.  These threads visually reminded them to obey God.   People asked that Jesus allow the sick to touch his tassels and be healed.

Centuries after the Numbers’ command was written, Jesus wore the tassels.  On this occasion, he dispensed his power through these threads.

Suggestion for reflection: Is your obedience to God a temporary accommodation or a permanent commitment?  (Read Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and James 1:22-24.)

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