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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 32 - Mark 6:53-56 - Jesus and His Fullness Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius




Jesus And His Fullness.


     "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 withersoever 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 man as touched him were made whole."-Mark 6:53-56.



     We may take up the topics of this passage in the following order: (1.) the landing; (2.) the recognizing; (3.) the gathering; (4.) the touching; (5.) the healing.

     I. The landing. They had been on the east of the Jordan, near Bethsaida; they had taken ship and crossed the lake; and now they draw to the shore of Gennesaret, which was a well-watered plain on the north-west side of the lake, where Magdala and other towns lay. It was no common landing this. History records many a landing,-of conquerors, liberators, benefactors, heralds of peace or war. But here is a landing which surpasses all. Wherever the Son of God landed there was blessing, peace, liberty, health. He carried all these with Him; and wherever He landed He dispensed them. We may say that his first great landing was at Bethlehem, where He arrived from heaven. After that He had many a lesser landing at other places; and wherever his heavenly vessel touched, there He distributed its heavenly freight. He is still landing in our different cities and villages, and still dispensing liberally his rich stores of health. Wherever the good news are proclaimed there He is landing; He is seen drawing to the shore; nay, He is heard proclaiming his grace, and shews Himself as the distributor of pardon, and life, and blessing. For all fullness is in Him; the fullness of divine love, and health, and joy.

     II. The recognizing. "Straightway they knew Him"; He could not be hid; they recognized Him at once; Jesus of Nazareth, the healer of the sick. It is specially as such they recognize Him here and now. It is not as the teacher but as the healer, that He approaches the shore of Gennesaret. No doubt He teaches also; but specially He heals. The first thing He does is to heal. Their first felt want is the need of healing, and He does not despise this, but owns it, responds to it. It was then as the healer that they recognized Him, when He came on shore. They knew Him. This is the man we need! Thus they met Him,-not as others, praying Him to depart out of their coasts, but as those who were eager to bid Him welcome. "If thou knewest," He once said to another; and so He speaks to us. If thou knewest Him and his gifts, O sinner, wouldst not thou hasten to Him and partake of his fullness? He comes to thee; wilt thou not go to Him?

     III. The gathering. The news spread. The healer is come! They run through the whole region round about; they tell the tidings, they bring the sick. Wherever He goes in this region,-country, cities, villages,-it is the same. He goes to them; they come to Him. The whole region is stirred. What a gathering; what a time of healing; what a casting out of evil spirits; what a removal of disease from the land. The center of the gathering is the Son of God. Here, as elsewhere, Christ is all. He is the great attraction for the sick and needy. They hear of Him, and they flock to Him, as was written of old, "To Him shall the gathering of the people be." It was the want that was in themselves, and the fullness that was in Him, that was the reason for all this gathering. He had what they lacked; and they came to Him for it. So round Him the publicans and sinners gathered, feeling that He had just what they needed. Thus sinners gather unto Jesus still. They hear of his grace and truth, of his love and his fullness; they learn how He has been in the habit of receiving sinners; how many millions have, in ages past, gone to Him and been blessed. They hear the report of what He is, of what He has spoken, of what He has done. They go to Him; they crowd around Him; they say, This is the Being who suits us, whom we need, who has all for us, who is willing to give us all. They make the discovery that distance from Him is the cause of all their want, and disease, and wretchedness. So they draw near. They form the one great universal circle of which Jesus is the center!

     IV. The touching. "They besought Him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment." It was nearness to Him, in any way, in any shape,-that they sought. Contact with Him,-nay, with his garment,-nay, even with the border of his garment,-this was what they desired. He could have healed them at a distance, without a touch, by a word; but He did not, that He might teach them that it is nearness to Him that is the thing so infinitely desirable; that there might be no mistake as to where the healing came from. There are many ways of contact; He looks on us, we look on Him; He speaks to us, we speak to Him; He touches us, we touch Him. It matters not which of these it may be. Only there must be contact or connection of some kind or other; communication opened between us and Him. Then all his fullness flows out, and our want disappears. It is not some meritorious act of touching; some laborious effort skillfully put forth. It is contact in any way. They who touched Him and his garment were not particular as to the manner. To touch Him was enough! He does not stand on ceremony with the sinner, saying, Touch me in this way or that way, else you cannot be healed. All He wants is that you draw near and apply to Him. You will soon experience his welcome, for He is love; grace and truth are in Him.

     V. The healing. "As many as touched Him (or it) were made whole." The cure was immediate, it was free, it was complete. No uncertainty, no failure. All who applied were received; all who touched were healed. The medicine was all efficacious; the physician was all-skillful and all-powerful. Disappointment there was none, and could be none. The kind, or the virulence, or the obstinacy of the disease mattered not; the healing power was irresistible. How much more healthy must Judea have been during these years! What an amount of sickness taken away!  We have the same healer still to deal with; all his old skill, and love, and power. Time has not weakened Him, nor hardened his heart against our diseases and our sorrows. Our sins have not produced unwillingness on his part, nor placed us beyond his power as incurables. He is still the same. He receiveth sinners. He bids us come. "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out."

     He does not now say to any one, "Touch me not, for I have not yet ascended." He says rather, "Touch me, for I have ascended," as if the very fact of his ascension made Him more accessible, more easy to touch. Touch me, look to me, hear me, follow me,-these are some of his gracious words. Shall we remain afar off? Shall we continue unhealed, unsaved? He is in earnest; shall we not be so? He is disappointed if we do not come. He wants an opportunity of blessing us. We need Him, and He needeth us. Let us go to Him at once as the sick, the sinful, the weary, the sad!