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Summary: By touching we are an aid in healing, caring, and converting Material adapted from Robert Shannon's book, Christ Above All

HoHum:

In Stockholm, Sweden, a lady was pinned beneath a streetcar. She was seriously injured and bleeding badly. A crowd collected. They tried to move the streetcar, but it was too heavy. There was nothing to do but wait for the heavy equipment to come. She was in great pain. She was losing blood rapidly. Suddenly a young man broke away from the crowd. He crawled under the street car. He took the woman’s hand and said, “Hold my hand tightly until help comes.” In holding his hand she grew calm. She avoided going into shock. The loss of blood was slowed. Finally, after she was freed, she said, “I never knew the touch of a hand could mean so much.”

WBTU:

Some people in the New Testament could say this. Two of them are noticeable in our Scriptures from Matthew 8- read those Scriptures Matthew 8:1-4, 14-15

These are only two of many such instances. He touched blind eyes and made them see. He touched deaf ears and they could hear. In the Garden of Gethsemane Peter defended Jesus and wounded a servant of the high priest. Jesus touched his ear and healed him.

At the Transfiguration Jesus’ garments were changed. They shone like the light. Moses and Elijah appeared and God spoke. The disciples were afraid. “But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”” Matthew 17:7. There was healing in his touch. There was reassurance in His touch. There was comfort in His touch. There was life in His touch.

Several years ago Queen Elizabeth visited the United States. She addressed the joint houses of Congress. She was escorted to the platform by the sergeant at arms. He took her arm to help her up the steps. Cameras clicked. Flash bulbs popped. The next day the picture was in the press. Sergeant had committed a breach of etiquette. Nobody touches the Queen. Not so with Jesus Christ, King of heaven and earth, King of kings- he touched people and people touched Him.

Even so, you and I will never feel the touch of that hard, calloused hand. No one in our day is going to feel the physical touch of that hand, for the body of Jesus has gone to heaven with Him.

At the end of this sermon give people a chance to be touched in a spiritual way (not physical) by Jesus. We are also going to sing a song that is talking about being touched in a spiritual way by Jesus- He touched me. Crystal has a hard time with this song because her father sang this to a group of young people going to the prom- He touched me and oh the joy... not talking about this- not talking about sexual or violent touch

The healing touch of Jesus can be felt through our hands.

Once there was an orphanage, overcrowded and understaffed. The children were well fed, well clothed, and well housed, but there was no time for any exchange of affection. There were no hugs or kisses. They sickened and died. We are used as an aid in the healing touch of Jesus

Thesis: By touching we are an aid in healing, caring and converting

For instances:

I. An aid in healing

There is a difference between curing and healing. Curing means “eliminating all evidence of a disease,” while healing means “becoming whole.” Being a whole, complete person. The salvation that Jesus brings to the world is an act of holism. Sin resulted in brokenness and separation from God. Fragmentation destroys families, friendships, and individuals. We erect walls that alienate ourselves from others and seal off hopes of reconciliation. Into the shattered remains of God’s creation comes the message that Jesus Christ brings the gift of wholeness to anyone able to accept it. It is the gift of salvation won by Christ’s death and resurrection and received through faith that has torn down the separating wall of sin and restored our relationship with God. The Greek word “to save” (sodzo) also means “to heal” and “to make whole.” It is this salvation, this healing, that takes broken, shattered lives and recreates them “better than new.” Jesus abundantly offers wholeness to our world. “I have come that they may have life, and have it (abundantly) to the full.” John 10:10, NIV. How can we bring this?

1. Provide an atmosphere of acceptance. Hold their hand. Listen fully, being especially attentive to people’s hurts and struggles. Might be one of the few people willing to discuss this with them. As trust develops, people often become more willing to discuss personal spiritual matters. Try to use prayer and the Bible if appropriate.

2. Be alert to spiritual needs. Some will never say anything about God, faith, or any other spiritual matter, but this does not mean that the person has no spiritual needs. Be alert to what people feel and think is important. Recognize the hidden cries for help.

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