Touch!

Over five consecutive Wednesday’s we will use our five physical senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) to illustrate truths about Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  Last week, we talked about taste.  Today, we will discuss “touch.”

There are a couple powerful yet intimate verses describing the depth of relationships between Jesus and His disciples/followers.  Read what the Apostle John exclaimed in 1 John 1 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.  John wanted to tell all generations his firsthand, up-close view of God.  Right in front of him daily, he saw, heard, tasted, smelled and touched eternal life which was the Incarnate God-man, Jesus.  And, in this same passage in verse 7, John declares, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  This is a picture of a redeemed man having the ability to have a personable, healing, edifying walk and relationship with Jesus including touch, embracing the Son of the almighty God.

Paul the apostle often in the salutations of his letters told brothers and sisters in Christ to “greet one another with a holy kiss.”  I love hanging out with our Hispanic brothers and sisters.  They greet each other with a kiss on each cheek…even the macho, tough men in the group.  Brothers, Christianity is not supposed to be a sterile, remain at a safe distant from each other faith.  It is an upfront, up-close display of His grace, His mercy and His compassion.  When we are together, a non-Christian should look at the way we touch each other in a holy, loving, expressive manner, and should have to say to themselves, “man, how they love each other!”

If we do a quick search through the Gospels, you will see that Christianity is a “touch” faith.  It is not surprising that Dr. Luke, a physician, would give the most references of Jesus’ “touch” compared to the other gospels.  Several of these references are below:

Luke 5:12-13

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean. ” 13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.”  This leper disregarded the ceremonial law to keep a healthy distance from “the clean.”  And, as we see in this passage the leper was “covered with leprosy” meaning that he had been sick for quite a while and had not had the sensation of touch of another human being.  He was hopeless that is until he encountered Jesus.  There was something about this man, Jesus, that gave him hope.  And, Jesus did not demand for him to keep the lawful distance from Him.  The leper “fell with his face to the ground” physically within reach of Jesus.  Then he “begged Him, ‘Lord if you are willing, you can make me clean.’  JESUS REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND TOUCHED THE MAN!  ‘I am willing He said, ‘Be clean!’  And immediately the leprosy left him.”  Jesus cared, healed and touched this leper.

Luke 6:19

“And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.”  The touch of Jesus!

Luke 7:37-39

37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.  Now, when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”  The harlot, socially an untouchable, felt the freedom to come to Jesus and touch Him.  Because of her humility, she was saved from her sin.  But the Pharisee, full of pride and way above the status of this woman and with no desire to touch Jesus, was not. 

Luke 8:42b-48

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.  45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.  When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”  46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”  47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Guys, I could go on and on with examples of Jesus touching and being touched by others.  But, I recognize that I am out of time and space. Jesus touches and is blessed by individuals who humble themselves and reach out in faith to Him and allow Him to touch others through you.

By the way, who were the people who touched Jesus?  Were they the religious leaders?  Were they the socially elite?  No, they were common people, folks who were diseased and unclean, socially despicable people (i.e. tax collectors and harlots).   Reminds me of the first three beatitudes.  Matthew 5 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

 Jesus wants to touch others through you!

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