by Tony P
Ok, there were no Facebook or Instagram apps back then. At this point, though, Jesus' fame is getting "likes" and his words and deeds are being "shared." He is becoming a national phenomenon.
AND (I couldn’t resist!), this Compassionate King is wise and considerate. Rather than allow the crowds to continue damaging property and threaten people's safety, even his own, by their sheer numbers, he orders a retreat to the seaside, but, not for ease or slumber, but to pour out his grace effectively and efficiently. Perhaps, with a wink, he says to his disciples, some fishermen, “Know anyone who has a boat?” so he could more easily manage the contact he wished to maintain with the crowds.
And how about those crowds? Look at their plight. They’re demonstrating a desperation, but why? People get sick, people get diseases, people die, all this happens all the time. People then, spiritual people (aren’t we all?), and people now, believed sickness and disease was a punishment. Grit and bear it, you had it coming! And this Man...HEALS! Heals… takes away punishment… forgives… sin.
For this people, as it is for me, this is absolutely staggering. Heads spin at this thought! The Pharisees, proudly perfect, needed no such healing (a most desperate position!), but those in desperate need know very well what they need more than anything: Forgiveness.
Notice, too, he has no interest in TMZ or CNN blasting it on the 6 o’clock news, only the faithful are needed to tell the right story.
Beloved, how desperate have you been for your healing? What distance would you walk? You know he’ll heal, right? You believe this, right? It’s your faith that causes you to move, right? You've done this, right? Ah, but your faith is weak, you say. Take heart, even weak faith is plenty. In fact, it’s enough for your neighbor, your co-worker, your roommate, your dad, your son, your hair dresser/barber, your professor, it’s enough for ALL of them! Keep telling your story, keep inviting, bringing them to Jesus for the most profound healing anyone could hope for: Forgiveness.
Prayer: King Jesus, my faith is weak, but you are strong. You make a way to ease my reach, even with but a word, “Forgiven.” With this liberation, Jesus, I gladly take to the world your greatness and glory--your fame! Sincerely yours, [your name].