Luke 6:17-19 Touching & Being Touched
Luke takes us off the mountaintop where Jesus chose His disciples/apostles. Luke takes us right into this healing service after the appointing. This gathering has drawn attendees from all parts. From the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, the countryside around Judea, and even Jerusalem itself. This is probably one of Jesus’ bigger crowds. This crowd has gathered in hopes of receiving miracles from Jesus.
First off, kudos to Jesus’ disciples not singled out for the appointment process for keeping the people at bay. Jesus wanted privacy when appointing His disciples/apostles. He wanted to have a moment with them apart from the crowd. I imagine He had something very personal to say to each of them that day. No doubt He had personal words of encouragement for each man.
Those left down below didn’t walk away from following Jesus just because they were not singled out for the appointment. They patiently waited for His return. Nothing was going to keep them for serving Him, in any way they could. At that point in time, crowd control was their method of service.
When Jesus and the twelve came down from the mountain, they found a “great multitude” of people waiting for them. At this point Jesus had not passed His authority to His disciples yet so He was the one doing all the healing work in this gathering. The crowd was FILLED with people needing healing or releasing.
It is a GOOD thing or maybe a GOD thing that Jesus had so many regular followers still waiting down below. When He came down EVERYONE wanted to touch Him. They all knew He had power flowing from Him. Those who didn’t want to wait for Him to give them His undivided attention figured they could get their needs met on their own.
Jesus was healing everyone and freeing them from Satan’s control. He was more than willing, and able, to meet the needs of everyone in the crowd that day. The size of the crowd didn’t deter Him from offering them His gifts.
Can you imagine the crowd control issue that day? EVERYONE pressing in on Him. I can see Him standing in the center of two rings of His followers. They were facing away flanking Him and protecting Him from the many hands reaching toward Him from the crowd. The crowd was pushing into Him as hard as they could. There were hands reaching through every opening. The closer they got to Jesus the more fiercely they struggled to reach in. These people were desperate.
At some point, I’m assuming organization and order had to be established for Jesus to actually help these people. Without crowd control Jesus would have been trampled in their rush. Did Jesus have them all sit down and then walk through the whole crowd? Did He have them form lines that would file past Him? Did He hold out His hands and let them touch Him as they passed? Did He speak individually to those He healed? Did He use words to bind the demons He cast out? In order for Jesus to address all of the needs, there had to be some kind of organization. I am absolutely certain Jesus didn’t leave even one person wanting who came to Him.
Those that attempted to touch Jesus instead of waiting until Jesus had time to address their needs, was their healing different? Luke tells us how power flowed from Him. We see that in the story of the woman with the issue of blood. Did this encounter happen after that one? Is that why the people sought to touch Him instead of waiting? Did they try to touch Him out of fear like the woman did? She didn’t feel worthy of His time and knew that she was unclean. What was this crowd’s motivation? Were they trying to get their healing on their own, or on their own terms? How many took this route? What did Jesus think about their behavior? Was it helpful or a hindrance.
This certainly required a lot of energy from Jesus too. He gave freely and God was faithful to refill His physical strength that was most certainly depleted.
Lord Jesus, it amazes me how much of Yourself You gave every day. You still give freely of Yourself. Thank You for caring for all the needs. Thank You that You don’t run from my needs too. That You don’t scold me when I try to do things my way. You don’t always let me have what I want this way but You love me through it anyway. Your love is AMAZING! Keep me ever seeking You Your way. Thank You for always welcoming me into Your presence. Thank You for always having time for me, no matter what my needs. Even the need of just being with You.