Summary: The amazing grace of God transforms and restores us.
I TOUCHED HIS GARMENT
1. What does it means to touch his garment?
2. There is a story in the Bible told by Matthew 9, Mark 5, and Luke 8. It tells us about a woman who was very ill. It was a chronic illness; she had been bleeding for 12 years, 4380 days. Results of continuous bleeding: lack of energy, weakness, depression.
3. It was worse on those days: Leviticus 15:25-27: 25 “When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period. 26 Any bed she lies on while her discharge continues will be unclean, as is her bed during her monthly period, and anything she sits on will be unclean, as during her period. 27 Whoever touches them will be unclean; he must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening.”
4. Consequences: if she was married her husband probably abandoned her or she had to leave. If she was single, was condemned to stay single until the bleeding stopped. She would turn everything and everyone touched by her, unclean. Totally isolated, it was like a contagious disease. How did she buy food?
5. People on those days assumed the person with such illness was being punished by God for a great sin.
6. She went to see the doctors but Mark said that she was worse, and both, he and Luke said she spent all her money in doctors and was not cured.
7. The Talmud, authoritative body of Jewish tradition comprising the Mishnah (oral law) and Gemara (comments on Mishnah) presents no less than 11 cures for bleeding: teas, potions, or just superstitions, like: to carry the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen bag during summer and cotton bag during winter.
8. Probably she tried each one. Now, she saw Jesus. She has probably heard about him and his miracles. She decided to do the unthinkable, punishable, and bravest thing she could do: Touch him. Mathew and Mark revealed her thoughts: If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
9. Here she is, penniless, emotionally broken, physically weak, but with a strong faith.
10. The miracle happened as a result of her faith. Was there a special virtue in Jesus’ garment? No, it was the prayer garment or tallith, a shawl with fringed corners worn over the head or shoulders by Jewish men, also called the prayer shawl. God wanted the people of Israel to remember the Ten Commandments.
11. Till then clothing was a symbol of Adam and Eve’s sin, now it was to remember the Ten Commandments and later Jesus will give us his robe of righteousness. So the woman touched the most sacred part of Jesus’ garment. But it was her faith what brought forth the miracle. Matthew says 14: 36 that all who touched the fringes of his garment were healed.
12. She could have left without being noticed, but Jesus did not allow that. He not only healed her, but restored her to be again a member of her community.
13. Touching Jesus’ garment means:
a. Staying close to Him