23 And Jesus went about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him-from galilee, and from Decapolis, Jer5usalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
In an age without phones, television, or internet, it almost seems fantastical that such a wide area of the world could or would soon hear about the works of Jesus. Yet we must remember that the area near Zebulon and Naphtali was the crossroads of the ancient world. People from distant lands traveled these lands, bringing goods from the Mediterranean Sea to Europe while goods from Europe and Africa were brought through this area to the distant lands in the East.
What better way to spread the good news of the Gospel than centering the work of Christ in the area that was most visible to the world at large, the Israelite population was scattered in communities all over the world. From there, talk of the promised Messiah coming and the prophesying of the Kingdom of God would spread, awakening the hearts of mankind all over the world.
For the people that lived in this area and those who traveled through and stopped to hear His teaching they found it had an edge to it. A way of looking at these age old scriptures that brought new meaning, substance and understanding to the people. But it was more than just teaching for Jesus, for daily He healed the physical ailments of the people. The list of things he would heal of is quite astounding and is evidence that Christ was not just interested in their spiritual condition alone, but also in their physical needs as well.
As a follower of Christ what are we interested in? Are we interested in the physical condition of those we meet or just the spiritual? Christ knew that the way to a person’s heart was to meet their physical needs. Did all who came to Jesus to be healed accept his message? Certainly not, and even today when we minister to people in a physical way, it is no guarantee they will accept our invitation to become followers of Christ. Did that stop Jesus from ministering to their needs? Certainly not, and neither should it stop us.
Jumping ahead to Matthew 25:37-40 Christ answers this for us when He is talking about His second coming. 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to You?” 40 And the King will answer and say to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
To be a true follower of Christ we must exemplify Christ in all our actions and deeds. We must be willing to put our most cherished earthly desires to rest and take up a life of service for our Lord and Saviour. Christ was concerned for the whole being, the complete person. Are we?
Jesus was about to preach the greatest sermon ever spoken, but before he did he spent the night alone upon a mountain near the Sea of Galilee. All night Jesus spent in prayer for these chosen ones. Not just His chosen disciples that daily sat at His feet, but for all His disciples all through the ages he prayed for them as well. Then at the dawn He called the disciples to Him and, with words of prayer and instruction, laid His hands upon their heads in benediction, setting them apart to the gospel work. Then He returned with them to the seaside, where in the early morning a great multitude had already begun to assemble . . .