And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
The people knew Jesus as soon as they saw Him. They recognized Him and knew Him to be the man who could heal, because isn’t that what they seek from Him? Jesus had become quite famous, renowned and well-known because of all the different miracles He had done. He told some people that He had healed not to tell anyone, but they went out and told everyone, and news had spread quickly. And so of course these desperate people come clamoring to Jesus, hoping to be healed, as well.
It’s almost like a frenzy, people everywhere, bringing along their sick loved ones for just a touch of Jesus’ garment to finally be free from whatever had ailed them. But there’s not really that same kind of clamoring for His spiritual healing, His words of life, His teaching and doctrine. Though He drew crowds everywhere He went, it seems relatively few chose to follow as His disciples. Though many would hear Him speak, He was often rejected in those teaching moments, especially by the Pharisees. And certainly at the end of His life, the crowd no longer clamored to touch Him and see Him do some miracle, but instead they clamored for Him to be put to death.
Again the flesh gets in our way. It consumes us, in a sense. These physical needs are important. They matter to us and can affect our lives profoundly. Jesus cared about people and He did heal many and relieve them of their suffering, but there is a greater healing that we need that perhaps we sometimes ignore—a need for forgiveness of sin, to rid ourselves of evil and evil influences, to be spiritually whole in Christ. And He gives that healing to us so freely. We don’t have to beg. We don’t even have to seek Him out in some faraway town. He will meet us where we are, save our souls, and set us free from sin.