“When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.” - Mark 6:53-56
Instead of landing in their intended destination of Bethsaida, the disciples’ boat drifted to the shore of Gennesaret. As it turned out, Jesus was just as popular there as he was in Bethsaida and Capernaum. As soon as they got out of the boat, the crowds surrounded him, bringing their sick with them. Mark’s focus here is on Jesus as the healer. Earlier, Jesus was the compassionate teacher who shepherded and fed his people. Now, he was the source of hope and healing, as evidenced by the fact that people were cured just by touching the fringe of his garment.
Why the fringe of his garment? We know that the hemorrhaging woman was healed by touching Jesus’ robe. And we recall the superstitious belief that clothing could transmit power. But Mark refers specifically to the fringe, the tassels that Jewish men wore on their robes as a reminder of God’s law and the fact that they were set apart by the Lord (See Numbers 15:38-39 and Deuteronomy 22:12). Jesus was an observant Jew and the perfect fulfillment of knowing the law and obeying the law. As Jesus walked through the towns and marketplaces, he looked like every other Jewish man.
Jesus looked like every other Jewish man, but he was the only one who had that power to heal; he was the only one that the crowds flocked to with hope and expectation. The people recognized Jesus as someone special and powerful, and they laid their needs, desires, and desperation at his feet. We are called to do the same thing today. Though our resources are abundant in this modern age, Jesus is still the only one who can truly heal, redeem, and restore a person.
Do we recognize Jesus as the healer, redeemer, Savior, the Good Shepherd, and the only true hope for our souls? He longs for us to come to him with all our needs, all our hopes, and all our fears because he is the only one who can perfectly meet all those needs. Jesus was and is the perfect man, the perfect Jew, the perfect Son of God. May we turn our eyes to him for the healing of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls today.
Reflect and Respond:
What hinders you from coming to Jesus with your deepest needs, fears, and desires? Ask him what he wants you to know about those hindrances? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the Living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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