Starting a Journey with Jesus, Day 14 (Matthew: 4:23-25)
Today we cover a lot of ground. Put your walking shoes on, we are going to follow Jesus all over the hilly region of Galilee. There are only two cities here (Sepphoris near Nazareth and Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee) and many small villages. Most of the people are farmers and fishermen living under Roman rule that is exercised through the Herodian family.
He went across all of Galilee teaching in the synagogues and preaching the good news of God’s kingdom and healing all the sickness and disease of the people. The report about what he was doing went beyond Galilee into all of Syria. People brought to him anybody who was ill with an ailment or problem, those suffering great pain, the demon-oppressed, epileptics and paralyzed, and he healed them all. Great crowds came to him from Galilee, from the “Ten Cities” across the lake, others from Jerusalem and Judea, and others from across the Jordan. (Matthew 4:23-25)
Everything up to now in our journey has been individual, character-building and character-testing, or preparatory. Now Jesus with his followers goes through Galilee teaching in synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom (probably in any open space available besides the synagogues), and healing every disease and sickness among the people. It caused a grassroots sensation in Syria. Sick people were brought to Jesus, people with different diseases, severe pain, demon-possessed, paralyzed and those with seizures and Jesus healed them. This attracted large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and Transjordan who followed him.
There is so much activity, ministry and power packed in those few verses. Jesus’ healing is emphasized, as well as the crowds it drew. His preaching — in the spirit of John – a prophetic ministry that was a living demonstration of God’s love and power at work, has been proclaimed. His teaching is about to be massively detailed in the Sermon on the Mount.
Yet Jesus was more than Teacher, Preacher, Healer or miracle-worker. We recall he is son of David, king of the Jews and worthy to receive worship. He is son of Abraham and son of God, called out of Egypt and blessed at his baptism. Jesus is son of God, and He will teach us, preach to us and heal us.
Prayer: Lord of Heaven, Son of God — thank You for teaching me, preaching the word of repentance and God’s gracious nearness. Thank you for your healing, of me and my family. Lord, I look to You. Continue to teach me, heal me and I will follow You where You lead.