“And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.” (Mark 6:56, ESV)

The Jews of Jesus’ day expected the Messiah to be like Moses. Like Moses, the Messiah would lead the Jews out of slavery. He would also have power over natural forces just as Moses parted the waters of the Red Sea so the people could pass through and escape the forces of Egypt. But Jesus is Lord of the sea. He did not need to part it. Jesus walked on the surface of the water. The disciples were fighting heavy winds as they struggled to cross the Sea of Galilee. In the midst of this struggle they spotted Jesus walking on the water, quite calmly and with no trouble despite the winds. He showed the apostles, as He shows us, that He is no mere man like Moses. He is greater than Moses. And He shows us He is no mere King or political or military leader. He is the Creator and sustainer of all life. He is the Sovereign God who rules the universe.

This awesome picture of Christ as Almighty God frightened the disciples who were confused about the nature of Jesus. It scares many people, and if we are honest it scares us when we think about how sinful we are in the presence of such a Person. What does He think of us? What will He do to us? And yet, we see in our reading that He is a God of love and compassion. He healed the sick merely by allowing them to touch the hem of his garment. There is great and awesome power that should make us tremble, but there too is great and awesome love that should send us to our knees to ask for mercy and then rise up knowing that we have it because the Lord always keeps His covenant. He loves us even though we stray and delights to grant us mercy in spite of our failure and sin.