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Scripture Reading—Mark 6:53-56

”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.”

Opening Prayer

Scripture Meditation—Touching Jesus

One of the key features of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry was generosity. He was never mean with His goodness and mercy. No one was ever turned away who came to the Lord seeking help. Let me say that again. No one was ever turned away who came to the Lord Jesus for help, no, not even the rich young ruler. This little passage at the end of Mark 6 is a prime example.

A touching picture

The people of Gennesaret were really just the people of Capernaum and its surrounding villages and this region was the location for much of the Lord’s ministry. When the people realised Jesus and His disciples had landed on their shore all who were sick were brought to the Saviour and laid in the streets of whatever community Jesus passed through that they might be healed by Him. Simply touching the hem or border of his garment was sufficient to heal all their diseases.

Wonderful encouragement

This generosity of healing, this kindness towards the needy people of this region speaks to us of the grace and mercy of our precious Saviour. All who come to the Saviour find in Him the healing they require and desire, and obtain the remedy for their need. This is a wonderful encouragement to you and me to come to Christ. Not just once but time after time. Jesus said, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). That was true then and it is true now.

Generous in mercy

Those who attack the gospel of God’s sovereign grace often misrepresent gospel preachers as those who deter people from coming to the Lord Jesus or place hurdles in their way. Nothing is further from the truth. We love to see people coming to Christ. We long to see people coming to the Lord Jesus. We spend our lives preaching Jesus Christ, pointing men and women to Him who is generous in mercy and grace; He who is ‘able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him’.

Holy Spirit conviction

We do recognise with scripture that not all do come, nor wish to come. As in Gennesaret, those who are healed are the sick and diseased. It is all who feel their need, see their sin, know their state and condition who come to the Lord for healing. Such knowledge is not possessed by nature.

It is the work of God the Holy Spirit to reprove men and women of sin, convince them of righteousness and instil in them a hunger and thirst for acceptance and peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God the Holy Spirit who quickens the dead, illuminates the blind, and provokes and enables the guilty conscience to seek forgiveness and reconciliation by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Not one more, not one less

Nevertheless the promise is sure, ‘all the Father giveth me shall come to me’. Every single one of the blest people who were committed into the hands of the Son in the covenant of peace shall come, and come at the appointed time. If the men and women of Gennesaret came to the Lord Jesus Christ is was because they were given to Him by His Father and brought to Him by the Spirit. And coming, like them, we too are healed, because all who come are accepted and received with generous supplies of salvation and songs of joy.

Come unto me

This simple fact is sufficient grounds for you and me to seek forgiveness and acceptance with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. “Come unto me” says the Lord Jesus. Come and touch, come and receive, come and enjoy the Lord’s generosity of grace and His abundant mercy. You shall find rest for your soul. The question is not was I given by the Father? The question is will I come? We shall know the extent of election by the evidence of faith.

Blessed privilege

Note one more thing. It was those who knew Christ who ran through the whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick. We who know Christ have the privilege of bringing those who are sick with sin to the Saviour; those who need salvation. We have no power to save but we can beseech the One who has. We cannot bring sinners to heaven but we can bring them to the Lord, lay them before Christ’s feet in prayer and carry them to the place where the gospel is preached and Jesus passes by.

May we be no less generous than our Saviour.

Peter Meney

Hymn—“Shepherd Of Tender Youth”

Sermon—“Touching Jesus”

Peter L. Meney is the editor of “New Focus“, a web-based magazine available online. Its purpose and aim is to spread as widely as possible the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of free, sovereign grace found in the Holy Bible, the Word of God.

Hymn—“Amazing Grace”

Closing Prayer

Benediction

May the Lord bless you, and keep you; may the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.



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