A Key (Matthew 14:33-36)

Photo by Tim J on Unsplash

The disciples had been rowing very late into the night. When Jesus met  them by walking  across the open water, they worshipped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Subsequently, it was in an attitude of worship that they finished their crossing of the Sea of Galilee. “When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.” 

In saying that, Matthew tells us the key to all that Jesus did at Gennesaret; “And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country.” 

There is a particular blessing that came when the people recognized Jesus. When the people of the land believed in the person of Jesus, and when they confessed that He was the One by spreading that news, healing came to their land. Those who drew near to Christ were blessed. Those who watched others draw near to Christ were also blessed, for those they knew and love were changed by His presence. The land itself was blessed, for its inhabitants were no longer under the curse of imminent judgment.

What we are reading is a partial fulfillment of God’s well-known promise in 2Chronicles 7, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

It has always been this way. The blessing of the Kingdom is for the people of the King. When you are not in right relationship with God – be that on account of your own sin or the ignorance of your people – there is no overt blessing. There is only the general care God has for all sinners made in His image – as Jesus Himself said, “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Those who have not yet repented and called on the Name of God have only circumstance and the collateral blessing of His Spirit’s work on those around you (as Potiphar was blessed on account of Joseph). But when the people receive Him as a people group – then the people of that land can be legitimately called the people of God. Then the direct touch of God becomes evident as they (the people) draw close to Him in both confession (telling others about Christ) and action (seeking Him for healing). 

This promise is meant for all the earth, for the whole earth belongs to the Lord, and all those who live upon it. Yet it does not come to all the earth because the people of our land do not recognize Jesus. Even when the body of Christ is here and has been here for decades – if His body (the church) does not look like Him or sound like Him, the people will not recognize Him. That’s catastrophic, because you cannot confess what you do not know. If the people cannot see Jesus on account of His body’s presence, then they cannot confess Him. And if they cannot confess Him they cannot be known as His people, so the blessing of His presence cannot be realized.

Some hear, and others hear not.

Henry D.M.S. Jones

APPLICATION: Intentionality

How are you recognizing Christ in this season of your life? How are those around you recognizing Christ in you in this season?