-We see Christ’s compassion to heal all those who came to Him as He comes down from the mountain with large crowds following Him. We see the supernatural realm and His authority evident as those with demons were restored and set free, leprosy was cured, paralysis healed, and fevers left bodies. Christ was fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that He would take from us our infirmities (griefs, violent illness, sufferings, torments) and carry away our diseases (Isaiah 53:4). *Application* Surely the Lord cares for us in the same exact way He cared for the people He ministered to in Galilee. Come to Jesus with every need and cast it on Him today (1 Peter 5:7). We have a God who responds to our desperate cries for help. Jesus Christ is our release!
-Christ Jesus orders those who wish to follow Him to get into the boat in order to go to the other side of the sea. He was leaving the hustle and bustle of the crowd to go do more ministry where it was needed. There was a scribe there who wanted to go, but Jesus commented on His own lack of a permanent home and His adventurous nature, which was always on the move. Another wanted to go, but needed to go and bury his father (earthly concerns over heavenly demands). Jesus’ command was to follow Him. The point was that the physically dead can care for themselves and don’t need any more attention. Jesus was direct with those who wanted to follow Him and tested the real desires of their heart in their areas of weakness. *Application* The Lord always will demand our complete loyalty and knows when we are not fully surrendered to His will. Following the Lord is no game, it is reality and it will cost you everything. Christianity is serious business.
-Once upon the sea with the disciples that actually followed Him, Jesus shows Himself as the King over even nature as He calms the raging waters that threatened to make the crew perish. He rebukes their lack of faith in this instance and in the end inspires admiration of His awesome-supernatural deeds. *Application* This is one of several sea storm accounts in the Bible. The crew with Jonah and one of Paul’s adventures come to my mind. We see over and over again that God has control over the weather and the events that proceed from these acts of nature. They represent the times in our lives when we are desperate and cry out to the Lord for help and salvation. Once again we see that God responds and is primarily concerned with our ability to trust in Him through the storms and trials and struggles. Believe, believe, believe. God is your rescue and He wants you to know that.
-East and probably south of the Sea of Galilee Jesus came across a man (Matthew indicates two men) that was possessed by a legion (many) of demons. Their response to the Messiah is noteworthy as they wonder what business they have with one another. They knew the power of the Most High and did not want to have anything to do with Him. They bowed in fear and cowered under His authority, even though they had tormented these individuals for a long time and were extremely violent with great strength. At the word of the Lord they had to flee being sent into a herd of swine that stampeded into the sea and drowned (weird eh?). The countrymen that saw and reported this were rightly frightened and asked Christ to depart. One of the men who was healed understandably wanted to follow Jesus and His disciples, but Jesus had a different plan for him. He was sent home to his own house and people to tell of the awesome and wonderful things the Savior had done for him (Mark 5:18-20). *Application* God has ultimate power in our lives and wants to rid us of anything and everything unclean that is within us. Allow His cleansing flow to infiltrate and wash you completely. Then you will be free to go in peace to anywhere that He desires to send you, even if it is in your own hometown!
Verses to Memorize: Matthew 8:17, 20