Jesus and his disciples withdrew to the lakeside, and a large crowd from Galilee followed him. A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan, and from the region of Tyre and Sidon, for they had heard of all that he was doing.
Because of the crowd, Jesus told his disciples to have a boat ready for him, to prevent the people from crushing him. He healed so many, that all who had diseases kept pressing toward him to touch him. Even the people who had evil spirits, whenever they saw him, they would fall down before him and cry out, “You are the Son of God.” But he warned them sternly not to tell anyone who he was.
In an earlier set of reflections (cf. Jan 9), Jonathan was mentioned among those rare characters of the Bible who are absolutely flawless, morally seamless, as it were. In order to understand this, we must examine the overall picture of his particular circumstances.
He is King Saul’s son and apparent heir to the throne. Yet he is upstaged (if this is a correct word in this case) by young David—who, after all, is only an ignorant shepherd who happens to have been anointed successor to Saul on God’s orders. Which means that, for all intents and purposes, David is Jonathan’s dynastic rival. As long as David is alive, Jonathan’s succession to the throne is in jeopardy. But does Jonathan care about that? Not at all. He befriends David, protects him from his father’s madness, and never once sees David as a rival. His love for David is pure friendship, nothing else. And at no time does he deviate from this attitude of loving loyalty! Apparently, David’s friendship for him is worth more than a kingdom and a crown… That is what true friendship is all about. It is pure beauty.
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