the 5th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER …
Almighty and merciful God, we implore you to hear the prayers of your people. Be our strong defense against all harm and danger, that we may live and grow in faith and hope, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING …
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea.
the DEVOTION …
Theologically speaking, we’re back, again, to the ago-old question about what comes first. But instead of poultry, this time, it’s healing. A woman suffers, for years. Endures much. Spends all. Gets worse. Then, she hears about Jesus. Creeps through the crowd, sneaks up on the teacher, touches his clothes. And, immediately, she’s healed! Jesus’ response? “Your faith’s made you well!”
First, you believe and, then, you’re cured! First, you trust and, then, you’re saved! At least, that’s how it works here in America! Faith is always the cause; everything else, simply, the effect.
But step back a verse or two, and we see the real reason miracles happen. Before anything else, “Jesus crosses the sea to the other side!” Jesus crosses the sea to THIS side! And if he doesn’t do that, all the believing in the world won’t accomplished a thing! So, what comes first? Believing? Healing? Truth is, Jesus comes first! Jesus always comes first! Before anything happens, Jesus must always “cross over to this side!”