Monday, September 6, 2010

Fastened Onto the Fire

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the hem of His cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.’ Jesus turned and saw her, ‘Take heart, daughter,’ He said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment. MAT 9:20-22

I am so attracted to this story which is remembered in multiple gospels. There have been many sermons and studies pointing out different features of this encounter between entrenched illness and the Son of God. There are different examples elaborated on in other encounters between faith from a distance and faith telescoped down to skin on skin.

A Greek scholar I am not but I wanted to see what was to be said about that idea of touch. The term for "touched" used in the story of the woman who pressed into the crowd is used often in reference to Christ's interventional touching of the needy. The leper healed when Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, the healing of the blind man, the man who was deaf and mute, the son who was dead and Jesus touched his coffin.

The term for "touched" is not a casual whisper of a touch, a butterfly-kisses tickling of the skin. It means to attach oneself to, fasten on to, lay hold of. The root of the touch word comes from the idea to kindle as in to light a fire.

We have heard about Jesus. We have seen His miracles so now when we need it to, a tiny flicker of faith comes to life hunting fuel to grow into a blaze. We reach out to lay hold of the Savior, to attach ourselves to whatever part of Him we are able to reach and just then...He reaches back...He touches us, lays hold of us and unbelief is being incinerated. "I will this," He says, 'Rise, walk, see, speak, live, rejoin the human race!"

In Psalm 91 it says that “because we are bound to Him in love He will deliver us.” The Hebrew for this implies that we cling to Him. Our hearts are fixed. We are holding on to the one who said, "LIGHT, BE!" This same One is willing our wholeness and holding on to us as the fire grows within us. All the fuel we will ever need to believe is supplied in our connectedness to Him.

"Daughter your faith has healed you."

Hang on! Sometimes our faith starts small, just a hem. That is all it takes if it is His hem.

1 comment:

  1. I love your explication of "touch" - to attach oneself to. What an incredible image of the woman who "took hold" of his garment. How I pray that I too will "take hold" of His hem.

    The story of the bleeding woman is one I come back to often. Beautiful post.