Amidst all the commotion of Jesus walking on water (and rightfully so, I mean he WALKED ON WATER!), we may have totally skipped over the healing in Gennesaret that Mark records afterwards.
This little episode shows the crowd’s immediate (a great Markan word) recognition of Jesus and how they flock to him for healing. What ensues is the oddest kind of mayhem. Jesus gets rushed by all sorts of people, misfits and outcasts, wherever he goes. If they can but “touch the hem of his garment they’ll be made whole.” This is the same desperation we saw in the interruption in Chapter 5 (Mark 5:21-43) as Jesus was en route to Jairus’ dead daughter.
I’ll go ahead and out myself…I’ve probably been to hundreds of concerts and, Lord willing, will go to many more yet, but the first concert I ever attended was at the Daytona Beach Ocean Center in 1992. Two as yet unknown acts, TLC & Boyz II Men, opened for MC Hammer’s 2 Legit 2 Quit tour. My best friend in third grade and me rushed out of our seats, leaving his chaperone mom in her seat, desperate to try and get a hand on those famous parachute pants as Hammer moved freely about the arena flaunting his brilliant new wireless microphone headset technology. We elbowed and vied, only to get boxed-out by some screaming girls, who needless to say, hit their growth spurt before we did.
All joking aside though, I’m indicted by the fact that my most diligent attempt to get to somebody in a crowd, that I can remember, was not, and tends not to be, me getting to Jesus. In these gospel stories, I’m most struck by how Jesus is the obvious hope for these people’s hopelessness.
This is not obvious to me most of the time.
I go through most of my days trying either to ignore the hopeless moments or areas of my life, drowning them out with shear busy-ness, or attempting to solve my own problems so that I don’t have to go through the hassle of having Jesus heal me.
Jesus, make me desperate for the healing that I need and that you offer.
Show me the ways I clutch at other things and people that aren’t you and can’t do what you can do.
Let me recognize you immediately in my life and in the lives of others who are hurting.
A bit better musical accompaniment to Mark 6:53-56.