Saturday 30 June, 2018

Matthew 4:23-25

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

Here we read about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. Jesus ministry is characterized by Him going out all around the area teaching, proclaiming (preaching), healing every sickness presented to Him and casting out demons.

Not surprisingly, this extraordinary power that Jesus demonstrated here attracted a lot of attention, and large crowds began to follow Him.

Contrast this early fame and apparent popularity seen here at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with how he ended His life – alone, unpopular, forsaken by crowds and even by His closest friends.  Clearly the powerful miracles created interest, but when the going got tough, it had not produced lasting devotion or change in most of the crowd.

If you are like me, sometimes we wish for the quick fix, the miracle, the flashy show of power from God to get us out of a mess. But I’ve discovered over the years that, for the most part, this is not God’s chosen method.

I’ve found that my character and my devotion to Jesus grow as we walk together side-by-side though the trial.  I still may wish for the quick fix, but more and more I’m prepared to accept and be grateful for the “slow fix” of His ways and His timing.

Jesus, I’m grateful for the long, slow walk in the direction of becoming more like You. Thank you for your incredible patience with me, and unfailing love.

Written by Shelley Witt

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