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Verse 34

Matthew 14:34. They came into the land of Gennesaret A large tract of ground on the western shore of the lake, in a part of which Capernaum appears from hence to have been situated. For though Matthew and Mark speak only of their coming to the land of Gennesaret and putting to shore there, (see Mark 6:53,) it is plain from John’s account that Jesus, at his landing, came to Capernaum, for it was there the people found him that followed him in the morning from the other side of the sea. See Doddridge, and compare John 6:22; John 6:25, with John 6:59. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him Or rather, the men, &c., επιγνοντες αυτον , knowing, or having known him, namely, formerly; Jesus having ordinarily resided in that neighbourhood, and the inhabitants thereof having seen many of his miracles: sent out into all that country Christ having been absent some time, the people were glad that he was now returned, and sent messengers to all their friends and acquaintance in the neighbouring places who were sick, desiring them to come and be cured. And they, rejoicing at the opportunity, came as soon as possible, in great crowds, carrying their sick on beds and couches, and bringing them to Jesus. Thus those who have obtained the knowledge of Christ themselves, should do all they can to bring others to be acquainted with him also. And when we have opportunities of receiving instruction and other spiritual blessings, we should invite as many as possible to share with us. More than we think of would embrace the opportunities, if they were but called upon and invited to them. On this occasion, the number of those that came to Jesus was so great, that he could not bestow particular attention upon each of them. They and their friends, therefore, besought him to grant them the favour of touching, if it were but the extremity of his clothes, being certain of obtaining thereby a complete cure. Nor were their expectations disappointed; for as many as touched him were made perfectly whole Whatever the distempers were under which they laboured, not because there was any virtue in his garments, otherwise the soldiers to whom they were given at his crucifixion might have wrought miracles by them, but because Jesus willed it to be so: and because those who touched him confided in his power and goodness, and believed that he would thus heal them. It was in this neighbourhood that the woman mentioned Matthew 9:20, had been cured of a bloody issue by touching the hem of his garment, and probably the information which these afflicted people, who now applied to Christ, had received of this fact, gave occasion to this peculiar exercise of faith in him. Observe, reader, the healing virtue that is in Christ is put forth for the benefit of those that by a true and lively faith touch him. Christ is in heaven, but his word is nigh us, and he himself in that word. When we mix faith with the word, apply it to ourselves, depend upon it, and submit to the influences and commands of it, then we touch the hem of Christ’s garment. It is but this touching, and we are made whole. On such easy terms are spiritual cures offered by him, that if our souls are not healed, we have only ourselves to blame. He could have healed us, he would have healed us, but we would not be healed: so that our blood will be upon our own heads.

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