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Touching Jesus

Scripture: Luke 8:41-48; Text: Luke 8:46

This miracle of our Lord is recorded in three of the four gospel records. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record the incident, only John does not. However, Matthew hardly mentions the woman with the issue of blood. We need to remember that she interrupts the trip to the house of Jairus. Jesus was in route to his house to heal his only child, a daughter of 12 years old. On the way as the crowd pressed against Him, the woman touched Jesus.

It is an interesting lesson to me because it reminds us of many of the wonderful qualities of our Lord. It shows us how SENSITIVE Christ was. In the midst of a crowd pressing against Him, He could feel the touch of a suffering woman. It also blesses us to see the COMPASSION of Christ, that even though He is going to bless a little girl, He is willing to bless an older woman. It also enables us to see the POWER of Christ, able to heal in an instant, what many physicians have tried and failed to do. However, the lesson of greatest importance to me right now is the fact that Jesus can be touched. We have the wonderful privilege of TOUCHING JESUS.

The woman in the passage, had been infirmed for twelve long years. I say "long years" because if you have ever been ill, you know that a day of sickness seems at least twice as long as a good day. She had an issue of blood, or a problem with bleeding. She went to many doctors and none of them could help her. She actually spent all she had to no avail. Luke does not tell us this but she actually grew worse in the process of their treatments. Her last and only resort was to go to Jesus, the great Physican.

She thought in her mind, "If I can get close enough to Him to just touch the hem of His garment, I know I will be healed." She was right too. She inched her way through the crowd. It was not easy for at times no doubt the pressing throngs pushed her away. There might have been a number of times that she was almost there, then someone else was between them. At last, He is within reach and she stretched out her arm and touched the hem of His garment. In an instant it happened, she felt it immediatedly, she was healed.

Jesus felt it too, He felt virtue leave Him as it healed her. She not only touched His garments, but according to His words, she actually touched Him too. The disciples thought it strange that He should ask "Who touched me?"since in the pressing crowd many had been pushed against Him and many touched Him. Did Christ not know who did it? Of course He did! Just as God knew the whereabouts of Adam and Eve in the garden. God went right where they were, He knew. But He asked the question to bring about their confession. Even so, Jesus asked "Who touched me?"that she might come forth and confess her faith in Him. Verse 47 says that she was not hid, that means Jesus know. However, in her confession there was fellowship with the Master and His words of comfort and peace. She needed that too.

For that dear soul it was indeed a grand and memorable experience. Perhaps the greatest single experience of her entire life. I believe it would have been that was for all of us. Yet there is another grand and glorious experience brought to our attention by this passage. God is telling us that in every generation and age, His people as the objects of His electing grace, are granted the blessed experience of touching Jesus. Have you touched Him lately? Do you ever think about touching Him? Would you like to touch Him and be blessed? If so, God is giving you a word of encouragement and hope.

We know that we have been touched by God if indeed we are saved by His grace. We have been touched by His SPIRIT in the new birth and by His WORD as it speaks to our hearts and by His PEOPLE as we are strenghtened by their fellowship. Jesus has touched us more times than we can count as He blesses us with His presence. Yet even though He touches us, there is something special about our TOUCHING JESUS. As she touched Him something happened that mankind could never give. Not only the MIRACULOUS HEALING, but His PERSONAL ATTENTION to her need and His kind WORDS OF COMFORT for her weary heart. All this is evident from the passage and it came to her as she touched Jesus. In the remainder of this sermon, we are going to focus our attention on ways that we too may touch Jesus.

FIRST, we may do as she did and touch Him by our FAITH (Matthew 9:21). Isn't that how she touched Him? She had faith in her heart that enabled her to believe that if she could but touch His garment, she would be healed. Her faith was not in the cloth of the garment, but in the Christ Who wore them. Often in the Bible Jesus COMMENDS GEAT FAITH and at other times He CONDEMNED LITTLE FAITH. So faith was important to Him and if we are allowed to touch Him, we must do so by His rules and not ours.

Faith is the fruit of the Holy Spirit implanted in the soul of those who are born again. The problem is not that we are not given adequate faith, it is that we do not use the faith He gave us. (1). Faith is to enable us to WALK and live in the will of God. If we are not walking in the path of righteousness, we are not walking by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7). The Christian is not to look at things with our natural sight and make determinations accordingly. Rather, we are to look at the size of the problem and then by faith believe that God is bigger than any problem we have. When we walk by faith, others can see the grace of God in our lives, to His glory. (2). We are not only to walk by faith but also to WORK by faith. James tells us that we can manifest our faith by the works we do in the kingdom of God (James 2:18). Even though our works may be acceptable to men, that is not the issue. Good works are those that are pleasing and acceptable to God. Only when we are working by our faith in God are we able to really please Him according to Hebrews 11:6. So then, let us be busy about our Father's business and manifest the faith He gave us, to His glory. (3). Our faith enables us to TRUST Him and to believe His words. Paul received a message from God during a night on the stormy sea. He believed what God said because he had faith to do so (Acts 27:25). All of us need to read the Bible and receive it as God's message to us. Then if we use our faith, trust in Him and believe His word, we can act upon it for our good and His glory. Therefore, just as the woman touched Jesus by her faith, we are able to do the same today.

SECOND, we can touch Jesus by our fervent and earnest PRAYERS. I know this is true because of Hebrews 4:15-16. Jesus is our Saviour and our Lord, but He is also our High Priest. Just as the high priest in the Old Testament went in the Holy of Holies, alone, once a year; so Jesus has gone before our heavenly Father with His own blood. As our High Priest, He represents us before the Father as He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. The implication of verse 16 is that because He can be touched, we can go to Him in prayer. If I correctly understand the message here it is this: we can go to Him in prayer when we are hurting and broken, because He can be touched by the feeling of our infirmites.

So then prayer is a very special blessing. It affords us an avenue to God at His throne of grace. We do not deserve the heavenly privilege, but by His free and unmerited favor, we have access. (1). In connection with the previous section on faith, we need to understand that PRAYER is a expression of our FAITH. James tells us that the "prayer of faith shall save the sick" (James 2:15). This adds to my conviction that Jesus is touched by our prayers because He is touched by our faith and faith is vital to our prayer life. (2). This prayer of faith is not just for our personal needs, but to encourage us to pray intercessory prayers for others too. INTERCESSORY PRAYERS are very important because it multiplies our prayers. We are joined by other saints in praying for our needs and we join them in praying for their needs. It means we do not have to pray alone. There may even be times when we have no burdens of our own to carry to the Lord, but we can continue to pray for others. Jesus taught us to pray for others even those who do not deserve our prayers (Luke 23:34). (3). We are to be PERSISTENT in our PRAYERS. Just because we have prayed about a matter once, does not mean the answer will come. Sometimes we are to pray repeatedly and persistently. There is an acronymn P.U.S.H. which means pray until something happens. The early church certainly did that as they prayed for Peter to be released from prison (Acts 12:5). If the cause of our prayer really matters and is of importance, we must continue to carry it to the throne of grace in prayer. Our expectation is that as we pray to the Father, Jesus will be touched with our need and will make intercessions for us. Thus, we can thereby touch Jesus.

THIRD, we can touch Jesus by acts of genuine REPENTANCE. In our consideration of prayer, we touch Jesus with our need and the brokenness of our spirits. In repentance, we touch Him with JOY that we have turned from our sins. The scripture that encourages me to believe that is true, is Luke 15:7. A man seeks a lost sheep. At last he finds it and brings it home on his shoulder. He rejoices with his family and friends. It seems to me that the whole lesson is really about Jesus and His people. If that is true, then the statement "likewise, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth," is about Jesus being touched by our repentence. Personally, I cannot imagine that angels would be happy and not Jesus. After all, our sins are against God, not the angels (Psalm 51:4). Thus the Prodigal Son referred to sinning against heaven (Luke 15:18). No doubt, because the angels reside in heaven, they do rejoice also. But more importantly, Jesus is touched with joy when we sincerely repent.

True repentace is not just a formal practice of penance. It must come from the heart and reach toward God in heaven. It must be real, godly sorrow for sins, a mourning over our sins against God. (1). It should begin with a CONFESSION of our sins. It is helpful if we confess our faults before men according to (James 5:16), but it is essential to confess them before God Whom we have offended. If we truly and properly confess them, forgiveness will follow (1 John 1:9). Yes God does already know about them. In fact He even knows about some you and I have not recognized yet. Why does He want us to confess them, if He already knows? Perhaps it is in our confession that we come to know they are sins too. (2). Repentance also involves a TURNING FROM SIN. If we repent and continue to pursue the sin, we have not truly repented. Remember this, we may fool people around us but we absolutely cannot fool God. We must not only acknowledge the sin, but hate it enough to walk away from it. Isaiah 55:7 tells us that when we do turn from our sin, God will pardon and forgive. It is not an easy task and we may not succeed with our first effort. However, if we truly repent, we will hate the sin enough to abandon it and will earnestly seek grace to do so. (3). In repentance, there is CONVERSION. We turn from the sin to righteous deeds. Conversion is the the spiritual result of true repentance (Acts 3:19). As we are converted, we are changed for that is what conversion is really about. We cease to be the same sinner we were, we begin to try to live a better life. In doing so, our souls are refreshed by the presence of the Lord. Repentance is the uprooting of the weeds of sins from the garden of our life. Conversion is the planting of the seeds of righteousness in our life. We have all rejoiced when a loved one has repented and surely we can understand how Jesus would be touched with joy when we do so.

In conclusion, let me point out that many touched Jesus that day with the pressing of the crowd, according to the disciples. However only one woman really touched Him. Nothing happened to the masses who pressed against Him, but there was a special blessing for the one who really touched Jesus. Perhaps many today in the crowds of church and religion, think it is enough to press against Him in the crowd. They may at times wonder why it is not a more wonderful experience. The answer is simple, they have not really touched Jesus. When in our heart we feel a need of Him, we see Him as one who can do more for us than anyone else; then we will want to really touch Him. Since He allowed her to touch Him, I conclude that He will allow us to touch Him too. I encourage you, every one of you, seek to get close enough to Him to touch Him. We cannot touch Him until we get close to Him (James 4:8).

After she touched Him and was blessed, she confessed it before the crowd. We need to do the same. It would be wonderful for all of us if more of God's children would come forward and acknowledge how touching Jesus has blessed and enriched their life. He would be glorified and we would rejoice together. Let us praise Him for allowing us this blessed privilege of touching Him.

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This page last updated on MayJune 7, 2014