Only a few verses are left out between last Sunday's lesson and the one coming up:
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds followed him from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.
- Matthew 4.23-25
Jesus goes throughout the region preaching good news and curing everyone brought to him. And his fame spread throughout - not Galilee or Judah or any of the places we are supposed to expect - by SYRIA. It would be easy to read right over it, were it not for the images of pain and loss that have been coming out of Syria for so long. And I am sure that the modern boundaries and the ancient ones aren't quite the same. But in Matthew's Gospel, Jesus' fame includes Syria, an outlying district one might not be expecting to read about.
And so it is today, that our prayers, our money, and our homes need to be for the people of Syria and for anyone else for that matter leaving in lands where God's peace has not yet been made known. One day we will see Jesus' fame spread throughout Syria again.