Blessed… Just to Touch His Clothes

When they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret. When the people who lived in that place recognized him, they sent word throughout that whole region, and they brought to him everyone who was sick.  Then they begged him that they might just touch the edge of his clothes. Everyone who touched him was cured (Matthew 14:34-36, Common English Bible).

Imagine a physician, say a specialist in Gastroenterology, who seems to find a positive solution for all her patients. She has great skills. She loves her work and her patients. And, her patients love her.

Her skills and bedside manor result in remarkable numbers of patients who come her way. If you have stomach and digestive issues, she is the doctor you want in your corner. One of the other results can be, this doctor has little time for much of anything else. The demand for her skills is all consuming.

Such was the case for Jesus, the great physician. At the beginning of this chapter Jesus and the disciples sought alone time. They wanted to process the loss of a dear friend for the disciples and a beloved cousin of Jesus. Whenever we lose someone close, we all need time to process. We need time to grieve.

The crowds didn’t give Jesus and the twelve the opportunity. So, Jesus and the disciples went to the other side of the sea. The crowds followed. That resulted first in Jesus teaching and then in the feeding of the 5000.

After dinner, Jesus sends the twelve back across the sea. A storm blows in and Jesus comes toward their boat walking on the water. He rescues Peter, enters the boat, calms the sea and he and the disciples go on to Gennesaret. There, Jesus found that the crowds once again had followed him.

But, the crowds grew even more. People Jesus healed and those who watched him heal were so impressed they spread the word. People needing healing came from everywhere. As I was reading the story, the thought came to me that either Jesus was overwhelmed by the number of people who came or the people who came became impatient waiting their turn.

I can’t imagine being so desperate as to think, “If only I can touch my doctor, I will be healed.” That is what the folks started thinking. And, they were right! The lesson tells us that everyone who touched Jesus was cured.

Wouldn’t our hypothetical physician love to be able to stand there, allow people to touch her and then find healing. The real truth is, the touch of any physician would never do all that. What is really needed isn’t the knowledge of a doctor, but to touch the king!

How has Jesus healed you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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