I was reading in Matthew 14 this morning about Jesus' healing of the sick at Gennesaret. The most striking thing about this short passage is the tremendous faith of these people. Matthew 14:36 says the sick "begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak" (NRSV). The people of Gennesaret believed so strongly in the power of Christ to heal and his supernatural ability to bring wholeness and vitality that they thought even touching Jesus' clothing would bring them relief. And, of course, it did!
You know, I read Jesus' Word every day, I preach his Word every Sunday, I counsel with people every week, I pray to God regularly, and I call myself a pastor, but there are days and even seasons when I don't have anywhere near this kind of faith. Too often in my life, I try to fix things on my own. I reach inward instead of outward and upward to God. I seek to repair the hems of my garments rather that simply reaching out to touch His.
I want the faith of Gennesaret! I want put aside my self sufficiency and sprint toward Christ's singular sufficiency. I want to have so deep a faith that I'm willing just to get close to Christ and brush against His divinity in order to find relief. I want to take a long vacation from myself, enter the foreign land of Gennesaret, and learn from its people. Yet I don't want to remain a visitor; I want to transfer my citizenship. Indeed, I want to fly the Gennesaretan flag over my head, let its colored stripes filter the sky, and feel its whip as it unfurls in the wind. Mostly, I want to bow at the feet of Gennesaret's King-Healer, reach up, and touch his hem.
But this requires that I cross over to the other side of the sea--leave familiar shores and seek out unfamiliar territory and unknown peoples. Gennesaret is at least a day's journey from here. And, of course, the trek won't be easy. However, things like this are always better with the support and encouragement of others. So, shall we cross over together, my friends?