Matthew 14:35-36 – “And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.” NASU
There were some interesting things said and questions asked of Jesus during His time on Earth including, “If you are willing, heal me.” Jesus’ response was, “IF I AM WILLING???” His response was an indication of how deeply that question troubled Him based on what He had done and taught, as well as the many passages of the Old Testament about His purpose and ministry. We read repeatedly that He went about doing good and healing ALL that were sick and oppressed of the devil. Healing is part of His ministry and offering to mankind, spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. No, it has not been done away with because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
But this passage in Matthew brings us face to face with a truth that we sometimes miss. There are two things that come to mind as I read this. The first is the power and importance of “Touching Jesus” and the second being “Touched by Jesus.” If you recall the account in Luke 8 where the woman pressed in and touched His garment you get a glimpse of the power of “touching Jesus” in our lives. Jesus was in a crowd where people were pressed against each other and many were touching Him but this woman TOUCHED HIM in a way that drew out from Him the Energeia or Power and He knew it and felt it when it happened. He immediately stopped and asked, “Who touched Me?” The disciples were flabbergasted because of the crowd and expressed the same to Jesus. But the Lord said, “NO, somebody TOUCHED ME and in touching Me was TOUCHED by Me.” There is a difference! This touch was in the flesh for her and a physical action but for you and me today it is in the realm of the Spirit and often through prayer or in worship that we TOUCH Him in a way that elicits Him TOUCHING us.
In this passage, we are told that “as many” as touched His garment were cured. Their touch was driven by faith and hope. Their touch was motivated by a belief that He could and that He had within Himself the power and authority to heal. They believed Him to be the Christ of God and as the Christ He was God and God could do all things, therefore He could do all things and they were driven to TOUCH Him and be TOUCHED by Him as a result. We used to use a phrase that I do not hear much anymore, “Praying Through.” What do we mean by “Praying Through”, praying through what and to what? In the light of this passage, it is praying through until we TOUCH Him and praying through until He TOUCHES us.
When I was a fledgling preacher I heard, a seasoned minister respond to the question, “Why are so many prayed for but not healed?” He said with total sincerity, “Everybody expects to be prayed for but not everybody expects to be healed.” He was not attempting to place blame on those not healed but to reveal that many go to the altar and in prayer in a religious ritual but without expectation of TOUCHING JESUS. I have personally experienced TOUCHING JESUS and receiving direction in a time of difficulty. I have TOUCHED HIM and known His healing power in the physical. I have experienced the FLOOD OF PEACE that comes when, in prayer or worship, you TOUCH HIM. In those times, nothing could shake me from my confidence that not only had I TOUCHED HIM but that He had TOUCHED ME and that what I was asking was DONE.
I pray that we return to the process of “praying through” and refuse to give up or give in until we have TOUCHED JESUS and when we do I know for certain that He will TOUCH US. That is when the reality of 1 John 5:14-15 becomes a present reality in our lives. Let’s never be satisfied to go through the motions and determine that when we go to our Prayer Closets we will not be satisfied until we TOUCH JESUS and then are TOUCHED by JESUS.
God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!