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Matthew 14:34-36: Jesus Heals

Posted by adventbiblestudy on February 19, 2012


Matthew 14:34-36 MKJV And when they had passed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. (35) And recognizing Him, the men of that place sent to all that neighborhood, and brought to Him all who were diseased. (36) And they begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His robe. And as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

After Jesus calmed the storm, James and John slowly rowed across the still waters. The moon provided ample light to see the outline of Gennesaret in the distance. Gazing at the dim image in the distance the disciples considered Jesus’ latest miracle. They questioned why Jesus did not calm the storm until He entered into the boat. What they did not know is, Jesus saw the storm coming, and began His journey to meet the disciples before it arrived.

How did this apply to the lessons they had learned from the parables Jesus had told them? Was it related to Jesus’ miracle feeding the four thousand? Andrew concentrated on his vision of Heaven, and how quickly everything will change when Jesus takes them with Him. He thought about the creation written in Genesis, remembering how the Spirit had moved upon the waters, separating the water from the dry land. He thought, truly, Jesus is the Son of God.

They arrived in Gennesaret before dawn. The disciples and Jesus filed out of the boat onto dry ground. If the disciples had not been so tired, they would have been praising God for being them to land safely. Jesus walked up the beach a short distance, lying down exhausted from the days events. The disciples joined Him in a small circle.

At first light Aran stepped out from his home, pausing for a moment to run his fingers over the law carved into the door posts. After a momentary review of each, he continued to the beach to pray. Little did he know he would find Jesus and His disciples sleeping on the beach. His excitement outweighed his better judgment, as he walked straight to the middle of the circle and woke Jesus. “Master, I am so happy to see you. I will have my wife prepare something to eat right away.” He immediately turned, and hurried back into his home informing his wife they had visitors. After explaining the situation to her, he realized he had left Jesus and His disciples on the beach. “Excuse me, I just realized I left our guests on the beach.”

As Aran was ushering Jesus and His disciples into his house, a number of neighbors poked their heads out of their doors to see what the commotion was. Word spread quickly about Jesus. Unlike many towns Jesus had visited, the people did not rush to Him to satisfy their own needs or curiosity, but rather went to their neighbors, and the surrounding towns to spread the news. People began to come from far and wide. Jesus was delighted to see people helping one another, putting the needs of others before themselves. He could see the Spirit working on their hearts in a mighty way.

Phoebe noticed the entire town leaving. Everyone was headed down the road in the same direction. She asked a neighbor what the excitement was about. She answered, “Jesus is in Gennesaret. Could this be true? Could Jesus be so near at just the right time? It seemed like a miracle. Phoebe’s mother lay dying on the bed. All she had to do was get a few neighbors to help carry her mother to Jesus, and everything would be fine. She ran in to tell her mother the good news, “Jesus is in Gennesaret. I can find someone to take you there, and we know He can heal you!” Her mother was unresponsive. Phoebe’s worries over her mother had suddenly turned to joy. She quickly packed a few things, water and a little food for the short journey, kissed her mother, and went out into the street to find some help.

The entire town was deserted. She ran down the street from house to house looking for anyone who may be able to help her. No one was there. She sat down on a little bench and began to cry. She could not understand how her emotions went from and all time low, to a high she had never felt, to utter defeat. She must think. What could she do? She ran around to the back of the houses. If only she could find a donkey, or even a cow, or something. The animals were also gone.

Phoebe ran back to the house. She looked around for some kind of inspiration or idea. Her mother was too weak to stand, much less walk. She remembered seeing this done once, maybe it will work. She laid the blanket on the floor next to the bed, then carefully moved her mother from the bed to the blanket. She gathered up the ends of the blanket and pulled. It took all her might to drag her mother to the door. This may have worked for a stronger person, but not for a thirteen year old.

She suddenly remembered seeing someone dragging a kind of stretcher. The person had a load on the stretcher, lifted one end, and dragged the other. She could make one that carry her mother to Gennesaret.

Phoebe darted back outside looking for materials. She had a vision of what she needed to make. Now it was a matter of finding the right materials.

It was approaching noon, and the sun was beating down. As she looked for the right pieces to make the stretcher, a sense of urgency began to overwhelm her. She had to arrive at Gennesaret before Jesus left. She knew Jesus did not spend much time in one place. Phoebe began praying.

On the fence were two long, narrow pieces of wood. These would be perfect. Sitting in a wood pile along the house she found other smaller sticks to use. Now all she needed was some rope or twine. As she prayed for the last missing part, her eyes rested upon a length of rope neatly arranged and hanging from a peg. Carrying all the material into the house she quickly arranged them on the floor next to her mother. “Don’t worry mother, I know God is not going to let us down. This will only take a few minutes, and we will be on our way.” Phoebe did not want to concentrate in her mother’s condition, which had been quickly deteriorating. Her mother did not make a sound all day. Phoebe knew that was not a good sign. As she assembled the stretcher, she prayed, and prayed her mother would live long enough to make it to Jesus.

Her thin and nimble fingers quick tied the sticks together to form the pattern she had in her mind. This was something she had never done before. She praised God out load for the skills He had given her when she needed them most.

Once completed, she covered the structure with a blanket to make her mother more comfortable. She then rolled her mother on her side, and laid the stretcher next to her. She rolled her mother onto the stretcher, and covered her with the blanket she had been laying on. “Well this is it Lord, please be with us, and make this thing hold up for the journey.” She went to the front, lifted the poles and walked out the door. She thought to herself, this is much easier than I had imagined.

After dragging her mother for almost a half an hour Phoebe’s little legs and arms began to tire. This was a difficult task for a thirteen year old girl. Her love for her mother, faith in Jesus, and her determination carried her past the point if breaking. After another fifteen minutes, she collapsed along the road. After a brief rest she lifted the two poles and continued the trek. After a short distance her arms and legs gave out again. She sat at the front of the stretcher her mother was laying on and cried. She cried and begged God for the strength to finish their journey to Jesus. She cried and waited for her strength to return. Suddenly she heard a voice behind her, “is there anything we can do to help?” She turned around to see two men walking up the road behind her. “I have to get my mother to Jesus. She is very sick and I know Jesus is able to heal her.” Without a word the two men lifted up her mother. One of them asked, “are you strong enough to make the trip,” Phoebe sprang to her feet thanking the men and leading the way. With no loss for words, Phoebe told the men all about her ordeal and how God had blessed her earlier in the day. Her talk was positive and uplifting. She suddenly remembered she had put some figs, raisins, bread and water on the stretcher with her mother. She asked the men if they wanted anything to eat or drink. One of them answered, “we only have a short distance to go, and judging by the condition of your mother, time is of the essence.

As soon as the village was in site it became evident Jesus was still there. The group of people in the small village was larger than the village itself. Hope flowed through Phoebe’s heart like never before, until they drew near enough to see how tightly packed the crowd was. She questioned out load, “how are we ever going to get through this crowd and find Jesus?” One of the men answered, “have faith, the Spirit has carried you this far.”

As they neared the village the man in the front directed Phoebe to the shoreline, “this will be a quicker route.” Bypassing the crowd they quickly moved along the shore. Phoebe could see the entire crowd beginning to shift, moving toward them. For a second she thought the crowd was going to block their way. She turned around to say, “we had better hurry.” She saw her mother on the ground, the men were gone. She though to herself, “why did they leave? How am I supposed to drag this through the sand? Why did we take this route? I will never be able to do this on my own.” As she turned around to estimate the distance remaining, she saw Jesus walking toward her. He came right up to her, placed His hand on her head He asked, “what do we have here?” With tears of joy streaming down her eyes Phoebe exclaimed, “I didn’t know what to do. My mother was so sick. When I heard you were here, and then I looked for help, no one was around, so I prayed and remembered seeing this thing, so I built one, and along the road, I couldn’t go on any further, so I prayed. And these two men helped me. I don’t know where they have gone.”

Phoebe uncovered her mother so Jesus could see her. She noticed her mother was hardly breathing. She placed her ear next to her mother’s face to hear if she had any breath left at all. She could not hear a thing. Then there was a short, shallow breath. While she was waiting for another Jesus laid down with His head on her chest, and His arms around her. Jesus began a short prayer, “Father, if it is your will, reward this little girl and her mother according to their faith,”

Jesus lay there with His head resting upon her chest. One minute passed, then two. Three minutes seemed like an eternity. Many people gathered around. All was silent, eyes fixed on Jesus and the woman, listening and watching for the first sign of a recovery. At last the woman took a deep breath, sat up, and asked for something to drink. Phoebe was so excited she flung herself around to hug her mother’s shoulders. Jesus put His arms around Phoebe and her mother. John kneeled down to give her some water. A few moments ago she was too weak to breath, now Priscilla was sitting up pulling Phoebe close to her. She looked over at Jesus kneeing next to her. Looking at Him, she wondered why she was here along the shore. She looked down at herself, feeling a little embarrassed she tried covering herself with the blanket. The look in Jesus’ eyes gave her comfort. She dropped the blanket to the ground. Sitting there, not knowing how she got there, or how long she had been there, she was at a loose for words. For quite some time she wanted to find Jesus and hear Him speak. All at once her memory came back. She remembered being sick the night before, but could not remember anything after falling to sleep. Priscilla asked, “did you heal me?” Jesus didn’t say a word, but leaned forward to once again hug her and Phoebe, still clinging to her mother. Jesus whispered in her ear, “my Father in Heaven healed you. Love your daughter, she has done so much for you.”

Jesus repeated a number of His parables in Gennesaret. His disciples received new light every time they heard them. The people were amazed at His teaching. When Jesus dismissed them at the end of the day, many discussed and reviewed what they had just heard. Phoebe told her mother what she had gone through during the day, and how the two men had helped her. She always wondered what happened to them.

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