Lessons Of A Lifetime

Touching The Hem Of His Garments
Touching Jesus For Others
Sunday July 19, 2020

Scripture To Consider:
“When they [Jesus, Peter, and the other disciples] had crossed over [the Sea of Galilee], they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent out into all the surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Jesus that they might touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.”                                                                                                        Matthew 14.34-36

Something To Consider:
Once again we are brought face to face with the miraculous healing ministry of Jesus of Nazareth while here on earth. It is no reason that through the centuries He has been lovingly and rightfully called the “Great Physician”. In our text today Jesus and His disciples crossed over the Sea of Galilee and landed in Gennesaret, which means Garden of the Prince. Gennesaret was known for its fertile soil.

As this short episode unfolds we find the hearts of the people of Gennesaret and the surrounding region to appear to be of a fertile nature, in that they received Jesus and proclaimed His coming to all. The reaction of these people was quite different from those of the land of the Gadarenes, where Jesus healed a demon possessed man and was rejected by the people of that region.

But this day, in this region, Jesus was recognized for who He was, He was received for what He could do, and was requested by many to allow them to touch the hem of His garments. Therefore, many were blessed that day in Gennesaret because they recognized His divine authority and power. Many were blessed because they received Jesus and thereby begged His permission to allow them to merely touch the hem of His clothing. “And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.”

Something Else To Consider:
There are a couple of important things to consider concerning their desire to touch the hem of Jesus’ garments. The first thing is that in Numbers 15.38-39, because the children of Israel had on occasions forgotten and or broken the commandments of the law, 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 of the corners.”

Others have pointed out that blue in the bible is the color that represents heaven, and by their looking at the blue thread in the hem of the garment the people were reminded of heaven. And that may be true. But the Lord continued His discourse with Moses, by stating, “And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all the commandments, and be holy for your God.”

There are at least two New Testament equivalent verses similar to the above sited verse. The first is found in Matthew 28.18-20 which we have quoted before. These are the final words of Jesus before He ascended up into heaven. “Then Jesus came to them [His disciples] and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

Numbers 15.38-39 required God’s people to remember the commandments of God. How can that be accomplished if the people of God are not taught to observe all things Jesus has commanded? And the promise of Jesus was and remains, that He will be with us even to the end of this earthly age! Are we being taught to observe all things Jesus commanded? And if not, what is it that we are being taught to observe? This is indeed something else to consider!

Something More To Consider:
The second New Testament Scripture that is equivalent and extremely relevant to Numbers 15.28-39 is Hebrews 12.2. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher [the beginning and the end] of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

As the Old Testament children of God looked upon the tassels sown on the garments and were instructed to remember all the commandments of God, we too, as New Testament children of God, are to look unto Jesus, the Word of God. And as we look unto Jesus we are to observe all things, not a few things, not some things, but all things Jesus taught. And according to Numbers 15.39, we are to be holy for our God in the process!

So, as the people of Gennesaret reached out to touch the hem of the garments of Jesus, in accordance to Numbers 15, they were physically healed and they were reminded that to obey the Word of the Lord brings spiritual healing. When was the last time we attempted to touch Jesus? When was the last time we received spiritual and or physical healing from Jesus? And when we received our physical and or spiritual healing from the Lord were we thankful?

Could it be that these people of Gennesaret heard the news and eye witness accounts of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood? Could they have heard of her touching the hem of Jesus’ garments and being instantaneously healed? It raises the question; does our touching Jesus have any effect on others? Does our looking unto Jesus give us and others strength to endure our own cross and cause us and others to experience the same joy Jesus experienced even in the midst of the shame and agony of His bearing the cross that was placed upon Him?

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, what does touching the hem of Jesus’ garments mean for us today? Or does our touching the hem of His garments, our pressing in with our prayer life, our pushing the envelope in our study of God’s Word, mean we are touching Jesus for others as well as for ourselves? Have we gone as far as those of Gennesaret, in our begging Jesus to allow us to touch the hem of His garments?

What would it mean in our lives and in the lives of others if we, in what is left of this 2020 year, were committed to doing just that, endeavoring to touch the hem of Jesus’ garments on a daily basis? Our experiencing the presence of God on a daily basis, would indeed change our lives and our eternal perspective!

And, as leaders and leaders in training, recognizing the presence of Jesus is a sought after blessing that is able to lead us to a place of touching Jesus for others as well as for ourselves. “And when the men of that place recognized Him [Jesus], they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick. And as many as touched it [the hem of Jesus’ garments] were made perfectly well.” How long has it been since we or our loved ones were made perfectly well?

Our Father in heaven, may we be willing to touch Jesus for others as well as for ourselves, and be reminded to obey Your commandments. In Him Always, Amen!

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