Who Touched Me?

One of the most fascinating stories in the bible, while there are many, is the woman who touched Jesus.  The story is short, but full of insight.  Let’s begin with the place where it all happened.

Capernaum:  This village was on the northern side of the Sea of Galilee, and was the center of Jesus activities.  Jesus taught in the local synagogue there.  It was also the home town of the apostles Peter, James, Andrew and John, and the tax collector Matthew.

How did Jesus end up in Capernaum?  It says in the book that bears Matthew’s name in chapter four (4:12-17): “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.  And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”  

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The scripture says He went there to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah 9:1, 2.  That’s when his ministry began.  This is the first fulfilled prophecy of his ministry.

As soon as He stepped from the boat after crossing to the other side of the lake He was met by a large crowd.  Shortly thereafter a man named Jairus,  a synagogue ruler, came there and fell at Jesus feet and pleaded with Him saying: “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, that she will live.” Mark 5:23

Jesus abruptly went with him, and the crowd followed.  This is the scene in which the second prophecy of Jesus ministry was set.

While Jesus was on His way to the rulers house a woman, from the pressing crowd, reached out and touched the saviors cloak: “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”

Before we continue we need to know something about the garment Jesus was wearing.  The Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels on the corners.”  Numbers15:37-38

The word translated corner is the Hebrew (“canaph”).  This word is translated in other passages and contexts as “wing, winged, border, corner”.  This same word is used in Malachi 4:2: “But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;”

Malachi 4 is clearly set in a context of the Messianic reign of God on earth.  So the phrase ‘Sun of Righteousness’ is believed to be a metaphorical reference to the promised Messiah.

She reached out and touched the tassel on His garment, and with that act of faith she believed in her heart that He was truly the promised Messiah.  The ‘Sun of Righteousness’ had risen with healing in His wings.  This was the second fulfilled prophecy of Jesus ministry.

When Jesus asked ‘Who touched me’?  He clearly was referring to her faith not her hand.  And while He needed no one to tell Him who touched him, he wanted to make a public display of faith at work.

Even in the process of doing something else like going to the rulers house, faith will not, and cannot be denied.

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