Summary: Are you looking for a hopeful rest? Consider a hurting people and a healing Savior. Even today we can appreciate an authentic Savior!
When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret and anchored there. 53
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. 54-55
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. 56
Introduction – Authenticity
Several years ago, in Long Beach, California, a fellow went into a fried chicken place and bought a couple of chicken dinners for himself and his date late one afternoon. The young woman at the counter inadvertently gave him the proceeds from the day—a whole bag of money (much of it cash) instead of fried chicken.
After driving to their picnic site, the two of them sat down to open the meal and enjoy some chicken together. They discovered a whole lot more than chicken—over $800! But he was unusual. He quickly put the money back in the bag. They got back into the car and drove all the way back. Mr. Clean got out, walked in, and became an instant hero. By then the manager was frantic.
The guy with the bag of money looked the manager in the eye and said, “I want you to know I came by to get a couple of chicken dinners and wound up with all this money. Here.” Well, the manager was thrilled to death. He said, “Oh, great, let me call the newspaper. I’m gonna have your picture put in the local newspaper. You’re the most honest man I’ve heard of.” To which they guy quickly responded, “Oh no, no, don’t do that!” Then he leaned closer and whispered, “You see, the woman I’m with is not my wife...she’s uh, somebody else’s wife.” Charles Swindoll, Growing Deep in the Christian Life, pp. 159-60
The disciples knew Jesus was not a fake. But they still did not understand Jesus or His mission. Now they had weathered through a rough storm with little or no sleep. Jesus came to them walking on water, stilled the storm and finished the journey with them to…Gennesaret! But what happened to Bethsaida-Galilee? It seems they were pushed off course but we find they had a divine appointment in Gennesaret.
Gennesaret was a plain along the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee that was referred to as “the Garden of God” and “a beautiful paradise”. It was one mile wide and three miles long. Often, the people in the region called the Sea of Galilee...Lake Gennesaret. It was a place for rest. I’m sure the disciples felt ready to get some well deserved rest. As if that’s going to happen!
As the disciples disembarked from their boat, they felt they had earned…
A Hopeful Rest 53
After rowing for some eight hours and straining against the hard wind, I am sure they felt they needed and deserved some Rest and Recovery. Jesus seemed to imply, what seemed like forever, they would get some rest.
So, they had their Plans…
Their plans were to get some rest. They were Physically overwhelmed. Exhausted would be a better word. Every disciple was feeling the effects of little sleep and physical exertion.
I have worked the third shift and stayed up several days before. There is something about getting little sleep that puts one on edge. The problem I felt was the "buzz" in my brain from little sleep.
They were also Emotionally drained. Physical activities often leave us emotionally sapped. We do not have a source outside of God’s Spirit who can re-energize us.
They were also Mentally fatigued. They had experienced some awesome works through the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ direction. But now they were tired.
We often find ourselves in places we never intended on going to. God redirects our boat through the storms of life. We struggle and toil in those storms and often find ourselves exhausted wondering why we are here. God has a reason: it’s called a divine appointment or as I like to say, “A God-cident.”
Ah, but God has higher Purposes…
God drove the disciples to a place where they could minister to others. That place was Gennesaret. It was a place of beauty and rest. But we find something else about Gennesaret.
Gennesaret was a place for Help. The storm was an intentional push by the Father to minister to those who had great need.
It was also a place for Hope. Where Jesus is there is hope! It was no accident they came to Gennesaret. God had a ministry of hope to a helpless people. He does the same today.