What a blessed time it must have been for the disciples to spend that alone time with Jesus and then to witness how He filled everyone with just 5 loaves and 2 fish. But now it was time for Jesus to have His time alone with His Father before performing many more miracles. Take a moment to read what happens immediately after everyone ate and was filled and the leftovers had been gathered…
- Jesus sent the disciples ahead of Him (v.45)
- Jesus dismissed the crowds (v.45)
- Jesus went to the mountain to pray (v.46)
- Jesus sees the boat being battered by the wind when evening comes (v. 48a)
- Jesus waits until 3:00 in the morning before going towards the boat by walking on water (v.48b)
- Jesus wanted to pass by them (v.48c)
- Jesus hears their cries, comforts them, and gets in the boat with them (v. 49)
- Jesus gets in the boat, the wind ceases (v.51)
- The disciples are completely astounded that Jesus can walk on water due to their lack of understanding the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 (v.51b)
- Instead of understanding, the disciples hearts were hardened (v.52)
- Mark only records Jesus walking on water, not Peter as the Gospel of Mark does (Matthew 14:13-21, 22-36)
- The crowds immediately recognize Jesus once He gets out of the boat (v.53)
- Crowds carry their sick on mats to wherever they hear Jesus is (v.55)
- Jesus went to villages, towns, and the country (v.56a)
- Crowds laid their sick in the market places in the villages, towns, and countries and begged Jesus to let them touch the tassel of His robe (v.56b)
- All who begged and touched the tassel of Jesus’ robe were healed (v.56b)
The disciples witnessed over and over the miracles Jesus performed and yet their hearts were still hard. On the other hand, the crowd believed that Jesus could heal their sick if they could just touch the tassel of His robe. What just stood out to me was verse 56:
“Wherever He would go, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might touch just the tassel of His robe. And everyone who touched it was made well.”
- How many did not seek Jesus as he went around the villages, town, and country?
- How many of them carried their sick to Jesus but did not beg to touch His tassels?
- How many were not made well because they were not desperate for Him?
On the other hand…
- How often am I so desperate that I search for Jesus wherever He goes?
- Do I beg Jesus with such desperation that I will do anything to just get close enough to Him?
- Am I close enough to touch the tassels of His robe and receive healing?
I am reminded of the story in Luke 11 following Jesus’ teaching on the Lord’s prayer:
“5He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ 7Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
God promises that all who seek Him will find Him. While the crowd was seeking His hand and His power to heal their sick, God desires for us to seek His face and even His strength as I was reminded this morning when I read this verse:
“Search for the LORD and for His strength; seek His face always.” Psalm 105:4
Lord, forgive me for my hard heart even after seeing all the miracles you have performed around me. Forgive me for not seeking after You. Forgive me for not being persistent in my pursuit of you or even desiring to touch the tassels of Your robe. Help me to seek Your face today and not your hand. “One thing I ask from You LORD; this is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the LORD and seeking You in Your temple” (Psalm 27:4)