The demons cast out of the Gerasene man, the healing of the woman with a blood issue, the healing of Jarius’ daughter, the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus walking on the water, Jesus healing many in Gennesaret, the healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter, the deaf man healed . . . these are miracles that demonstrate not only Jesus’ power over the demonic and illness but, also, his great compassion. The one who did all this, the one who taught with such authority . . . just “the carpenter, the son of Mary” (6:3), many reasoned.
The stories, however, cry out, “This is the Son of God!” But the Pharisees, who constantly opposed Jesus, simply refused to see and to hear and to believe. Oh, how troubled they were that some of Jesus’ disciples were eating with unwashed hands! I want to respond, “Really? THIS is what so traumatizes you, that the disciples did not wash their hands properly? Face to face with the Son of God, the great teacher and miracle worker, THAT’S your great concern?” Jesus responded by quoting Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (7:6,7). Let our prayer, today, be “Lord, give us hearts to know you, to love you, and to worship you in spirit and truth, always obedient to YOUR commands, not enslaved to human traditions.”
O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace! --Charles Wesley (1739)