And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.
Understanding And Applying the Text
Matthew packed this chapter with many proofs Jesus is the Christ. Jesus fed the 5000. Then he walked on water. And the chapter wraps up with Jesus healing every type of illness. But even so, the people do not see Him as the Christ.
Mark and John relay the same account. Mark, like Matthew, places it in Gennesaret. John places it in Capernaum. A quick review of the geography reveals there is no conflict with John. Gennesaret was a fertile district. The cities of Tiberias and Capernaum were there. It extends along the western shore for almost four miles.
John tells us the people Jesus fed whet to Capernaum looking for Jesus. So, there is little doubt many in the crowd were the same as the ones Jesus fed.
Their unbelief is amazing. It is further evidence that no one believes unless the spirit draws them. (John 6:44) Proofs for the glory of Christ filled this part of Judea. Yet the people did not see it. Their unbelief was evidence of their lack of gratitude. Christ fed them. Christ healed their illnesses. Christ cared for them. But it was never enough. They wanted more. They wanted more proof. They want one more healed. They wanted another meal.
It is easy to condemn them for their lack of gratitude. It is easy to condemn them for their lack of understanding. But we are no different. We call out to Christ to heal us. We ask Him to make our problems go away. And when they are gone, we are on to the next request. We treat Christ as they did. We treat him as a Genii to fulfill our request. It is rare that we stop and give thanks. It is rare that we show gratitude. We too deny Christ the honor He is due.
It appears the people held superstitious beliefs about what was happening. They believed Christ’s wardrobe held the power to heal. In doing so they defrauded Christ of His glory. They denied the power of his words.
But again are we any different? We look too scared artifacts. We want to be near them. They are only pieces of wood, stone, or glass. They are only created things. Yet we worship them. We worship the creation rather than the creator.