12/5 Matthew 14:35-36

35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

In the previous book, Through the Bible Daily Devotional, I explained that the Jews expected the Messiah's tassel would heal those who touched it. God instructed the Jews to take the threads at the corners of their clothing and tie them into a tassel to remember the Law (Numbers 15:38-39). Orthodox Jews today still wear these on their prayer shawls. They consist of 613 threads that represent each law in the Old Testament. It is tied in five knots to remember the five books of the Law. The fact that Jesus wore this tells us He kept every instruction of the law. Most likely He would have worn a phylactery as well. It was a small box worn on the forehead that contained a portion of Scripture.

Jesus' boat landed to the west of Capernaum in a town called Genneseret. The Greek word used here (epiginosko) is translated as "recognize". This may mean that they realized He was the Messiah. That is further evidenced by the request of the people to touch the fringe of his garment. We don't know where the tradition started, but apparently it was valid. The tassel of the Messiah was a conduit for healing. By touching it they expressed their faith that He was the Savior.

However, this did not necessarily mean they believed He was God incarnate. It is more likely they believed He had come to deliver them from Roman oppression. Jesus has come for a much higher purpose, our eternal salvation. Not all who acknowledge Him as the Messiah are seeking what He came to bring. He was ushering in the kingdom of God. That is God's reign in the hearts of men. Many would rather try to reign over God by telling Him what they want done.

Consider: Why are you seeking God? Is it for anything besides His beneficent reign over your life?