”When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.” Mark 6.53-56
The crowds were going wild. Jesus was in high demand. People all over the region rushed to see him. They would run “throughout that whole region” carrying “the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.” Wherever Jesus went, sick were placed “in the marketplaces.” “They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak….and all who touched it were healed.”
Whatever happened to people running to Jesus? These days it seems to have to drag them to church. We see so much competition for our time, energy and attention that Jesus gets just a little bit in the morning or sometimes nothing at all.
Now him being present in Israel mattered a lot. Someone being present here and now would help our faith believe and turn to him. But hasn’t he left us a Helper — the Spirit of Truth?
The miracle of the moment is the touching of his garment. Sure, he healed dozens and perhaps hundreds of sick in villages and towns as he walked around the Sea of Galilee, but more amazing were the healings that came by people simply touching his robe. People even begged Jesus to let them touch his “even the edge of his cloak.”
This requires faith. It’s one thing for Jesus to come up to us, touch us and we be healed. But it takes an entirely different bit of human faith for us to reach out and touch Jesus and believe that simply by touching him, we will be healed. Yet this is exactly what the people did. It’s like a feeding frenzy in the ocean when sharks are fed raw fish. They go crazy. They can not get enough.
Jesus’ fame in Galilee was like a faith-feeding-frenzy. People could not get enough of him. They couldn’t wait for Jesus to come to all of them, they had to go to Jesus. They had to run and rush to him. They had to reach out and touch his very clothing. And by touching just the edge of his cloak, they were healed.
Today you may need healing in a spectacular or even a simple way. Maybe you’ve lost the will to run to Jesus. Maybe you are wondering why he hasn’t rescued you. Why not imitate the early believers and rush to meet him? Why not reach out, spiritually speaking and through prayer, and touch his cloak? Ask for healing. Believe that he will do it.
The COVID pandemic has killed tens of thousands of American’s and even more across the globe. And while the sickness if far from over, we have a Master, a Healer, a Teacher who is in the boat with us.
Will you, by faith, reach out and touch the cloak of Jesus? He’s waiting for your faith to be on display.
“O Lord God, I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall in those Galilean fishing villages when Jesus was passing by. I wish I could see the expressions of the sick, the hurting and the hopeless become instantly well with one touch of the Master. And you still want to bring healing to your people. Come now, Holy Spirit, spread across this globe. Allow the warmth of your love and light to touch all who are willing to turn to you. I praise you Jesus for dying for us and for rising again. That we might have life now and life to come. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen