Saturday 22 October 2016

Bible Book:

“After the people of that place recognised him, they … brought all who were sick to him, and begged him that they might touch the fringe of his cloak” (vv. 35-36)

Matthew 14:34-36 Saturday 22 October 2016

Psalm: Psalm 34:11-22


After all the drama and excitement of this chapter these lastfew verses could be easily dismissed. It is possible to see them asjust added detail with little importance to the story. Maybe theyare just a link to the next chapter. But that would be to miss outon some important points.

After the storm has calmed Jesus and the disciples landed atGennesaret, a fertile and fruitful area on the north-western shoreof the Sea of Galilee. Although by some it was nicknamed Paradise,there were still plenty of sick people in need of Jesus'healing.

The faith of these people stand in direct contrast to the doubtof the disciples just previously (Matthew 14:26). Whereas the disciples cried outin fear on seeing him, these people flock to be near him. What ismore, at the end of chapter 13, as Jesus taught and healed in hishometown of Nazareth the people responded with rejection andhostility rather than the faith and welcome we see here (Matthew 13:54-58).

It is worth noting what Jesus is wearing. A cloak with fringeson is the sign of a devout Jew. It dates back to the time of Moses.The fringes are there to remind the people of all the commandmentsof God (Numbers 15:37-41). However, it was likely thatmany Pharisees would have thought the idea of so many sick peopletouching them to be unacceptable, even if only the fringes of theircloaks.

We noticed earlier in the week (link) Jesus responding tothe crowd with compassion (Matthew 14:14). We see that once more in thisaccount. What is worth noting is that nowhere does it mention Jesusteaching. There seems to be no expectation of people needing tolisten to Jesus' words or show any sign of response. People merelyneed to come and touch his cloak in order to receive his grace.This seems a clear example of actions speaking louder thanwords.

To Ponder

  • What needs do you see in our nation, despite it seemingly beinga land of plenty?
  • Not all of us have the gift of healing, so how might the Churchrespond to those in need in a manner similar to Jesus?

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