Jesus and His disciples have returned from Tyre and Sidon. They have arrived back on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. He is recharged and ready to get back to the task of ministering to the people. Jesus walks over to a mountain and sits down there. He settles in for the long haul. I wonder if this is the same mountain where He taught the beatitudes.
As soon as Jesus gets settled, TONS of people come to Him asking for His help. We are told that they brought “the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others” (verse 30). They brought these people right to Jesus and put them at His feet, and He healed them ALL.
The crowd was awed with every miracle they saw! They “saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, the blind seeing” (verse 31), “AND THEY GLORIFIED THE GOD OF ISRAEL” (verse 31).
Talk about your mountain top experience. Can you imagine the hallelujah party that was going on? Miracles, one right after another. In the next couple of verses we find out that this went on for THREE days!
The picture I was just given when I closed my eyes to imagine this setting is like a fire. This fire starts with one small spark. It ignites the wood at its center. As it builds in strength, it spreads to the next source of fuel. It continues to spread outward from its center in every direction until the entire mountain is ablaze. The flames continue to dance and reach towards Heaven. But in this fire no damage is done. The fire that spreads is the praise that is being offered to God. By the time the whole mountain top is engulfed, the sounds of praise can be heard from miles around. Heaven itself has joined in the celebration.
The first group comes to Jesus and brings a blind man in need of healing. Jesus touches his eyes and he immediately sees. He stays on the mountain top with Jesus and praises God. Then next comes a small group of people bringing a woman who is completely stooped over with crippling arthritis. Jesus touches her shoulder and she stands erect. She begins to weep and praise God too. She goes over to where the man who was also healed is standing. They are so excited! Those that came with them are also overjoyed! They begin to praise God together.
With each new person who is brought to Jesus, the circle of praisers expands. They begin flowing further down the mountain. Those waiting in line to see Jesus encounter those already healed, and faith soars. The sounds of praise are rising from the mountain. Singing, joyous shouts, scripture quotes, weeping with joy, faces bowed to the ground, prostrate forms to awed to utter a sound, and any other form of praise imaginable is happening on the mountain.
What would the Pharisees have thought about this gathering? I think they would probably be too afraid to even show their faces here with ALL the people fully supporting Jesus.
Matthew doesn’t mention Jesus teaching during this three day camp meeting. I wonder if He did. He would have had to get the people to settle down some in order to do so. That, in and of itself, would have taken another miracle. I wonder how many people were healed over the course of those three days.
Lord Jesus, You are AMAZING! I don’t know how You managed to continue ministering to these people for three straight days. Did You take breaks? From Your later comments, it appears no one stopped for meals throughout the duration. You put EVERY ONE of Your needs aside and poured Yourself out for these people. I am assuming that You were receiving strength from God and also from the people’s praises that were being raised to God. You were excited seeing the people actually recognize the true origin of Your miracles.
The miracles You perform today may not be as extravagant, but are still praise worthy. Bringing me safely home from a long trip where I nearly fell asleep at the wheel on occasions. Providing housing for us when we had no place to live. Giving us enough gas to make it to the station so we could buy more. Today when I was passing the truck and another car came around the corner. When I received exactly the amount of money I needed in the mail. The list could go on forever! For each and every one of the miracles You have done in my life, THANK YOU! I give YOU the praise and credit for them all. At the risk of sounding selfish, KEEP’EM COMING LORD! I love watching You at work!