Summary: The people of Gennesaret made Jesus and His disciples feel at home. They knew about Jesus, and they knew about the mighty works which he did where ever He went, and that He was a willing healer, and that He usually did not stay very long in any one place
-Spring, AD 29-
Lesson: Sick of Gennesaret Healed
34 When they had crossed the lake, they came to shore at Gennesaret.
35 When the people there recognized Jesus, they told people all around there that Jesus had come, and they brought all their sick to him.
36 They begged Jesus to let them touch just the edge of his coat, and all who touched it were healed. (NCV)
This is another account of the miracles which Christ did in the land of Gennesaret. Gennesaret was located on a plane to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee, between Bethsaida and Capernaum.
Now, I want you to notice two things here:
1. The faith of the men of that place.
2. The outcome and success of their request to Christ.
Our first point is that the people who lived there were different than their neighbors, the Gergesenes, who asked Him to leave their country. He was responsible for the loss of their pigs, and they didn’t have any need for Him. But these people asked Him to help them, because they recognized they had needs. Christ regards it the greatest honor for us to make use of Him. Now here in these verses we are told,
1. How the men of that place were brought to Christ; they had knowledge of Him. It may be that they were aware of the marvelous thing that He had done during the passage over the sea; how He had walked on the water and calmed the wind and the waves. Those who were on the ship could have spread the report. And they had probably heard of the other miracles that He had done. They flocked to Him, because of what they knew of Him. Listen: if Christ were known better, He would not be so ignored; He is trusted as far as He is known. They knew these things about Him and that He was present with them, and they took advantage of their opportunities. This was the condemnation of the world, that Christ was in the world, and the world knew him not (Jn. 1:10); we are told in Luke 19:42 that Jerusalem knew Him not, but there were some who when He was among them, had knowledge of Him.
2. How these people brought others to Christ. They told their neighbors that Christ had come to their area. Don’t you think that those who know Christ should do everything in their power to let others know about Him? There’s no better way to show your love for others than to tell them about Him; and for those closest to us we should bring them near to Christ by our example.
3. That it was their intention to bring their sick to Christ, so that they would be healed. If people will not come to Him, because of their love for Him and His Gospel, they will come for their self and those they love. He is the proper person to bring the sick to; where is there a better place to go than to the Great Physician, Himself.
4. How they made their appeal to Him; they desired that they could just touch the hem of His garment. This was their great opportunity. Even today, we obtain favors and blessings from Him by asking; He said, “Ask and it shall be given.” They acted very humbly toward Him, asking only to touch the hem of His garment, as if they were not worthy of Him speaking to them or even giving consideration to their situation. By their request, they showed great confidence in His power; believing that they would be healed if they could just do this minor thing of touching the hem of His garment. It was in this same area that the woman with the issue of blood was healed by the same method; and Jesus commended her for her faith. They must have known about that happeninng.
Now, our first point was that the men of that place had a faith that their neighbors didn’t have. And our second point is that these people made a successful appeal to Christ.
We are told that everyone who touched Him was healed. There is an abundance of healing virtue in Christ for all who it is His will to heal. That virtue is for the benefit of all those who touch Him with a true and active faith. When we mix faith with the word of God, and believe it, and depend upon it, and submit to it, we touch the hem of His garment. And when we touch him, we are made whole. Those are His terms, and it can be truly said that He heals freely. So if our souls die, it is not because of our Physician, it is not due to His lack of skill or lack of desire; but we can only blame ourselves. He could have healed us, He would have healed us, but we would not let Him. Our blood is upon our own heads.