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Lifting Up Jesus

Daily Devotions: by Christina Farris

Matthew 14:34-36 KJV
(34) And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.
(35) And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased;
(36) And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.

One of the things I wish that was clearer in the Gospels for beginner readers is the comparison of the four books in the Bible. Someone reading a long time has no trouble going through and seeing the effects of one verse in one Gospel is demonstrated in another. In John 3 it speaks of Moses lifting up the serpent so must the Son of Man be lifted up. It is a reference to when the people were being bitten by poison vipers sought God for healing and God told Moses to put the image of a serpent on a pole and anyone that got bit that looked upon it would be healed. The verse then said that the Son of Man must be lifted up like wise. Meaning Jesus would be put on the cross and those looking to Him would be healed, speaking of spiritual healing. Yet Jesus was lifted up more then just on a cross. When he walked the earth and walked town-to-town, people desired just to touch the hem of his garments. The people would gather their sick and lay them in the streets just in the hope to touch the hem of his garment. These events are not mentioned much in other Gospels. Yet Mark records this image. Had Mark grabbed a hold of the fact Jesus was healer or had the same power as the serpent on the pole had concerning Christ.

There is healing in the word of God, perhaps we have to see the relationship of man and the unfruitfulness of manís ways to understand God loves each and every one of us, no matter who we are. He has the ability to reach out and speak to each of us and even use us for his glory. Yet if we understand not the imperfection of man then we can never grasp the perfection of God and His love for man. There is not one man/woman or boy/girl that can ever claim they walked in the perfection of God in the way Christ did. Yet Christ was fully God by His Spirit and yet fully man by the flesh. The advantage of God in the flesh is the things of the flesh from a splitter or blister would felt pain but his way of dealing with pain would be different. It like the beating and pouring of His blood for the cross was humanly impossible at the time, but power of God possible to do even down to carrying the cross. He felt the agony of the beating in the flesh; He felt the thorns in his brow and nails in his hands. His body not exempt from suffering but the spiritual strength to endure came from who He was Spiritual as the King of Kings, and the everlasting Father.

Jesus healing the crowd by just the touch of the hem of the garment is an example of faith of those laying on mats, or desiring to be healed. If this type of work were truly being done by faith healers today, they would never have rest. There where times Jesus pulled away from the crowd. The calling of the sick was lifting up Jesus without hanging him on the cross at this point. It would take the cross to help those see the ability to have eternal life. Lazarus was raised up to live on earth, but Christ soon departure after His resurrection only demonstrated his ability to live forever.

If one thinks of the journey of Moses with the people, some believed over time and others not fully understanding the judgment of God on Pharaoh, yet having the fear of God because of the plagues. It taking years for people to desire that relationship with God Moses had despite the miracles God performed for the people, yet the turning point was the serpents in the wilderness that bit the people, that they understood the need for God to heal and protect them. To understand the need for Godís protection is to be able to look to God and understand the imperfection of humans, including oneself. That manís own imperfection is not what separates us from God, but our unwillingness to admit our imperfection. People that were sick and diseased were considered unclean, and unholy. Disease represents the heart condition of our soul with sin without Godís grace none of us would be able to come to Him. The people came to Moses when being bitten and asked for him to intercede to God on their behalf and Moses prayed. Jesus prayed in the garden on our behalf. He cried out on the cross Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Faith begins the spiritual process of forgiveness but one needs to turn away from sin and look to Jesus. If looking to Moses to get to God help the people, God would not take the Law of Moses away or His leadership, until it was time for Moses to move on. Mosesí legend would help the people for centuries to seek God and the prophets. Yet no spirit filled man could claim to be equal to God because their spirit was not Godís spirit.

God gave man the ability to pray for the sick, in hopes for healing to draw people to Him, yet in some cases it only draws people to those who prayed for them. Jesus is the only man God that was man is allowed to worship. No minister or teacher is God and though they may have even God like qualities about them, they are not God. They may draw a crowd, but they are not God. They may have faith to see mountains move around them, but they are not God. Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8 seen the power of the Disciples and desired it, not understanding one could not control Holy Spirit or make a profit off the Holy Spirit. One cannot step behind the pulpit and use God; one cannot hold a revival and use God. God wants to draw the crowd not the people drawing the crowd. God drew my husband and I back into church and I am sure He will again. God wants to heal His people from hurt and pain His way. He desire us to come to Him as the crowd brought those sick because they could not get their themselves Jesus allowed the touching of His garment for healing. Jesus reach out and touch the unclean for healing.

Dear Heavenly Father, your desire is to touch the unclean and make them whole not by anything man does but the seeking of you for the touch. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

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