When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. And when they came out of the boat, immediately the people recognized Him, ran through that whole surrounding region, and began to carry about on beds those who were sick to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well. (Mark 6:53-56)
When People Were Excited About Jesus
The news spread quickly. Jesus of Nazareth had just landed on the shores of Gennesaret and the air was filled with excitement. People were running everywhere with the news the great healer was in town. Multitudes of sick folk were gathered up to be brought to Jesus. The lame, blind, mute, demon possessed, lepers and the little girl with the common cold were rushed to the marketplace so that perhaps the hem of the garment could be touched for healing.
All over the land of Gennesaret lives were changed like never before. A man who suffered a horrible cancer found relief by the touch of Jesus. Dear friends brought a companion who had been crippled in an accident to Jesus. Mothers brought their sick children for the Master to touch. Blind men cried out to touch the Lord. Lepers no longer cried out “unclean.” Deformed limbs were made whole. The pain of suffering was relieved by the presence of Jesus. There was joy in the land.
Today the great Healer resides in Heaven with His Father. He no longer comes among men to heal the broken bones and diseased bodies. Gone are the days when infirmed men and women can touch His garments for the healing power of His mercy. There was great joy in Gennesaret two thousand years ago but this joy was short lived. Disease, suffering and pain returned to the lives of many and death took them all. The joy of healing was part of the plan of God’s grace but it was not the purpose. There was a greater disease that would require the touch of the Son of God. When Jesus died on the cross He gave man the only healing that is eternal. The disease cured by Jesus was sin. His blood washed it away. Now man could rejoice in the salvation of God’s love in sacrificing His only begotten Son for the malady of sin.
Two thousand years ago people were running all over the place announcing the joyful news of Jesus. Everyone came to Jesus for healing. Why is it that no one is running around today telling about Jesus’ healing power over sin? Where has the excitement gone? Imagine two thousand years ago a man bedridden for years hears Jesus is in town and he does not care. His attitude would astound us. Yet today the redemption of sin is made possible in the good news of Jesus Christ and few come to be touched by Him. Worse yet there are few of us running around telling people about Jesus.
There are two things in this story that we should learn. The Lord needs us to be excited about His healing power. He needs us to herald His message of healing. How are we telling people about salvation? Second, the only way a sin-sick person can be healed is come to Jesus. He is the only answer. Talking to a neighbor about their spiritual disease can only be answered with the message of the great physician. I need to bring my friend to Christ and let Him heal them of sin. There can be great rejoicing in the land if only we would talk to people about Jesus showing His power over suffering. Get your running shoes on. Let’s go.
No man can fail of the benefits of Christ’s salvation, but through an unwillingness to have it. (William Law, The Spirit of Prayer, 1749)