Summary: There is power in the touch of Jesus

“The Power of Touch”

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you because we have heard that God is with you.'" Zechariah 8:23 NIV

Intro: Today I want to talk about what is most likely a familiar story in the bible to you.

And yet a story that has its beginning in a very unfamiliar place in the bible.

The story in Matthew chapter 9 verse 20 is the familiar story.

The story in Zechariah 8:23 is the unfamiliar story that is surrounding the story in Matthew 9:20

And if it is the Lord’s will…, I want to tie these two stories together

Because the two go together

And together they are much bigger than just the healing a woman who is very ill

Together they reveal to us the identity and means of healing of the sin-sick world

500 years before Christ ever walked the streets of Jerusalem

A prophet in Israel named Zechariah

Who was born a slave in Babylon

A member of the family of High Priests

His family returned to the land of Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua.

You can trace Zechariah’s genealogy, in the book of Nehemiah 12:16

His prophecy plays a significant part in this story of the healing of the woman

we know as the woman with the issue of blood

who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made whole

Matthew 9:20 “Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Jesus was walking down the street of Jerusalem.

He was surrounded as he made his way through the crowded street.

It was impossible to get through the crowd without touching other people.

There was one woman who desperately fought her way through the crowd in order to touch Jesus.

As soon as she did,

Jesus knew, “Somebody” hath touched me.

It doesn’t say who

It doesn’t give a name

It just says she came up “behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.”

Underline: “behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.”

Jesus turned and saw her He knew somebody had touched Him

The virtue of Jesus had been transferred from Him to her

The healing power of Jesus had been transferred upon her

Jesus knew that Somebody got something from him

Jesus knew that somebody had touched him and that he had touched someone

The woman was healed at that moment.

Now hang on to that thought

While we turn over to Zechariah 8:23

If you can’t find Zechariah in your bible just fake it till you make it.

If you look down and you are over in the book of Zephaniah instead of Zechariah.

At least you got the Z right.

At least you are not in Revelations you are somewhere in the Old Testament. Right?

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you because we have heard that God is with you.'" Zechariah 8:23 NIV

Notice it the phrase “will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe”

Underline: “by the hem of his robe.”

This is where we connect the dots so to speak.

Both verses are about touching the hem of a robe or garment.

So, that is what’s going to tie these two verses together

and hopefully bring an important truth to us in this message this morning.

So we have the action of “touch”


“The Power of Touch”

There is power in the touch

There is power in the touch of Jesus


In 2013 there was an article in Psychology Today that talked about the “Language of Touch”

and the Power that Touch has in the world we live in.

The first example was the need for an infant or toddler to feel the touch of its parent as soon as possible

Studies show that babies who for perhaps some medical reason,

something prevents them from immediately be placed in the mother's arms

Babies respond more quickly to treatment when they have the human touch

Then those who have no contact whatsoever, except that which is necessary

they have no human touch

They do not respond to treatment as well as those who are rubbed and patted and held

Even when that touch is through some glove or another garment.

Still, that touch is essential for nurture and healing

Another language of touch is a young woman who touches her hair when talking to a young man.

Subconsciously that touch is a signal,

It is a message of attraction.

Another example is two people are on a crowded pew

One person bumps the other person beside then with their elbow and hip.

The message is clear; scoot over…, make room.

The article goes on to say that touch has a language of its own.

I want you to keep that in mind as we look at the meaning and use of the word touch in our text today.

Touch is a method of communication

We don’t always have to verbalize our feelings.

Love can be communicated through a touch

Sometimes when someone is worried you can touch someone in such a way that they can feel comfort

That worry or that anxiety is going to pass

That things are going to be ok.

We have body language

We talk with our eyes

We talk through our facial expression

Thru a stare or even a glance.

Say Amen if you knew what your mama was saying when she looked at you in a certain way…

Mama could touch you with just a look of her eyes…

One of the things that scare me in this age where we communicate everything through texts

Is that we don’t get the full impact of meaning

Because all meaning is not conveyed through words.

My wife is on me all the time

She says I am too short when I text people on the phone

That some people may think that I am unconcerned or even mad by how short my texts are sometimes.

An example is I used to just type the letter “k”

Instead of “ok”

Or thank you very much

I would just type the letter “k”

To me I meant

I got it.

Thank you.

I understand

It is ok.

But she said, that seemed rude.

So, If I ever type the letter “k”

I am not being rude

I am just saying Thank you I got it. “k”

I have learned that you can misunderstand people when you try to evaluate the heart by their words only.

There is something about seeing them and hearing their voice

The inflection of their tone

Or feel the touch of their hand

That communicates the depth to which they feel what they feel.

Now let’s keep that in mind as we look at the verse in Zechariah

In Zechariah’s time, all that was left of the nation of Israel was a small remnant of the past Jews.

After 70 years in Babylon,

during the first year of his reign, Cyrus King of Persia released the Israelites

to return and to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in hope that the Messiah would come.

But when they returned to their homeland they were met by foreign people practicing a mixture of religions.

They were met with hostility.

They were judged and condemned by the Samaritans.

They were mocked and ridiculed as a people who had lost everything:

Imagine having everything about who you ripped away from you.

Their home, their city, their self-value, even their identity as a people of God,

Their Temple, the Ark of the Covenant.

The Ark of the Covenant was the essence of the Presence of God

Now we see a people without the Ark of the Covenant

A people abandoned and isolated and forsaken by their God.

A faithless people whose God allowed them to be exiled into forced captivity and servitude.

Others joked about their God as either too weak or too uncaring

to liberate the nation before it crumbled into utter annihilation.

We all have had our share of setbacks in life:

We take one step forward and two steps backward

We start to overcome a bad habit

Only to find ourselves struggling with the same temptation again and again.

Whether they are in our relationships, our finances, our business, our family, our emotions

or our physical health or our spiritual soul

We live with ups and downs, twists and turns in life.

We can be going along just fine.

Then something happens and we are faced with an illness, a job loss, death, a disaster, a betrayal.

Maybe things get better for a little while but then it reoccurs again.

Some are short term or temporary.

Others last for months or years or even through generations in our family history.

Today’s sermon is about a God

who can take a bruised, wounded, bleeding and broken group of people

and restore them back to health and wholeness again.

What are some of the things you are hoping for?

What areas in your life do you want to see changed?

What things have you been praying about?

What Problems have you been trusting in God to turn around?

Defeat, and discouragement, disaster, and turmoil, storms and trial

That is not your final answer.

That is not the last chapter in your book.

Keep believing, keep expecting, keep honoring God and God will change your circumstances.

[You would not be here today if you did not already believe it.]

Your faith has brought you out into this crowd.

Your faith caused you to come here.

You know that Jesus is in this place.

You came here today hoping and expecting

to meet Jesus in a song, to see Jesus on a face, to hear Jesus in a message,

to feel Jesus in a prayer, to experience Jesus in worship.

To touch Jesus and to be touched by Jesus

You believe it. You have faith in it. You came here, now claim it.

Faith is speaking words and taking actions that activate God’s power.

Let the word of God take root in your spirit.

Let the word of God grow in your heart.

Years ago I was conferring with a man who was having an affair on his spouse.

She did not know about what was happening at the time. (Though she did find out later)

He showed me his “burner phone.”

It was a cheap flip phone he used to only contact his mistress.

After talking about the problems with the affair and how his hiding what he was doing was also enabling him to continue to do wrong…, I asked him to hand me the burner phone.

I took it. Broke it in half and threw it in the garbage can.

He looked at me with surprise and asked, “Why did I do that?”

I answered, “to make it more difficult for him to be in touch with his mistress.”

Listen, we need to make it harder to touch sinful things and easier in life to touch Godly things.

The devil may try to talk you out of it.

But your job is to believe and have faith. Then to act on that faith.

Your struggle has to go.

Your problem has to go.

Your sickness has to go.

Your troubles have to go.

Your sadness must go.

A new sense of joy is coming. You just have to know that God wants it for you.

This is what the lady in Matthew Gospel chapter 9:20 did.

The experts said she’d never get well.

God wanted for her a better life than what she had been living.

Her condition was so that she could not be with a husband.

She could not hold a child or ever hug or touch another person.

She was considered an outcast

She was unclean

She had no one to touch.

She spent all her money on doctors without results.

She could not go to the temple to pay.

She had to cover her head when on the street to hide her identity.

But she knew that God wanted her to get healthy and get well.

She heard Jesus was coming to town.

Something inside you this morning said get up out of bed and go to church.

It is not luck you need

It is God’s favor you need to shine down and touch your life!

Even though she was weak from losing blood,

She moved through the crowd to get to Jesus.

Never give up.

God works in mysterious ways!

If I can touch Him I know I will be healed.

Healing is coming.

Favor is coming.

Blessings are coming.

Joy is coming.

Let me tell you God wants good for you.

God doesn’t want us to live worried every day about whether we are going to have enough for tomorrow.

God doesn’t want you to live from paycheck to paycheck.

God doesn’t want you to wake up sick in the morning.

God wants what is best for His children.

Life may have thrown you some curves;

You don’t see anything good ahead.

This is when you get up and say, No, I am not going to live discouraged

I am not going to live defeated

I am not going to stay focused on what’s wrong

… Not expecting things to change

I’m going to stir up my faith!

I know God is on the throne

I know God is bigger than my problems

I am going to reach out and receive His Touch!

You already believe it or you wouldn’t be here today.

This woman was filled with faith.

She reached out and barely touched the hem of His robe.

Jesus immediately knew someone had "touched the hem of his robe"

Somebody touched me with such expectancy

Somebody touched me and drew the miracle power right out of me.

When you came to church this morning you were doing the same thing this woman was doing.

You came here today wanting to get God’s attention.

Guess what you got it.

We’re doing what this lady did.

Your faith can release the miracle Jesus has in store for you.

This lady’s miracle was released By touching the Hem of His Robe.

Christian is more than a religion it is your identity.

Notice what does Jesus calls the woman who touched him…

“Daughter” (Strongs’ 2364 by Hebraism means: descendant.)

Identifying her specifically as a descendant of the remnant that Zechariah the prophet was talking about people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe.

Zechariah foretold that the Messiah would heal this woman.

When you make a profession of faith.

When you are baptized in the water.

When you complete confirmation.

When you take the identity of a believer

All of these things are part of who you are.

Who your God is.

This sermon is a call to strengthen your commitment.

To double your efforts.

To triple your witness.

Come forward.

Step up.

Be healed

Be saved

Be touched

It is time for a group of people in this church to rise to the challenge.

Lest we forget all the things that were learned from the past

and lose all the things that have been worked so hard for by those who have gone before you.

Zechariah preached to the people of Israel…

you are going to be set free from your bondage

and you will go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the Holy Temple of God

and that will usher in a new age of preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

God kept His promises as seen in the life of Christ.

God kept those promises in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

A closer and deeper look of Zechariah's’ preaching tells us

God will send Jesus back to return again.

It is the return of Jesus IN OUR FUTURE.

Zechariah 14:4 predicts, “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem,

and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west,

forming a great valley, with half of the Mount moving north and half moving south.”

The phase: “THAT DAY” is a reference to the Day of the Lord,

and the One who stands on the mountain is the Lord Himself.

So, yes, this passage predicts the second coming of Christ in our future.

When you look back on your life…, you will see times when God’s promises have come to pass.

Things you thought were impossible turned around.

God has brought you out of trouble in the past

And God is still ready to do great things in your life right now.

Our ministry and mission are to go out into the community and tell people to get ready.

We go out to teach people how to be saved and become Spirit-filled believers.

We go out into the community to help those who are lost touch Jesus.

We are the only hands Jesus has today.

We are the only feet Jesus has today.

When you leave here today you leave “BE THE CHURCH”

Often that hand that reaches out to us will be filthy, (unclean.)

and has obviously been places and used for things that you would not want to touch.

Yet we allow them to touch our hands because that is exactly what Jesus has done.

We are all sinful both by birth and choice. (see Mark 5:28)

and therefore all need the healing and forgiveness and salvation

that comes only in Jesus Christ “The Power of Touch”

When Christ heals somebody physically,

there is a deep spiritual announcement like with this woman who touched the hem of His garment.

Her condition in the gospel represents the inability to change your physical condition,

and the inability to change your spiritual condition on your own.

This woman was one of the ten fulfilling the prophecy and imagery of Zechariah.

A “daughter” as identified by Jesus. A descendant of one of the ten lost tribes of Israel who had returned to Judah and to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah.

"In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe”

This Woman is a type of imagery of the House of Israel.

The physicians are the Pharisees

The 12 years of her suffering this illness in Hebrew numbers signifies completion or perfection,

the blood is a sign of uncleanliness as a whole for the house of Israel.

The Lord turns to the woman as she finally knew this was her best hope,

As the Jews do when they returned backed to their homeland and Judah and the Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives from Zechariah's’ day

to the Mount of Olives in Jesus day

to the Mount of Olives in the Return of Christ

all come together as we proceed forward through the age and meet Christ,

All are healed and saved “By Power of Touch, His Touch.”

This woman was looking for something the other dead religions had been powerless to give her.

Are you still looking for something that other dead religions have been powerless to give you?

the enemies of your soul knows your wounds and brokenness as they close in around you for the kill.

They want to take your life away,

They want to destroy your blessed assurance,

They want to challenge your safety and security,

They want to wreck your future,

They want to put you in the chains of their wickedness.

The woman acted on her faith.

This woman somewhere had heard what Jesus had done for others

and came to believe that what he had done for others he could do for her.

Christ is prophecies fulfilled and promises of deliverance and salvation kept.

Invitation: By the Hem of His Robe By the Power of His Touch I am healed every day.

Whatever your need this morning, I want to encourage you to come to Jesus.

Do you need to be saved? Come to Him!

Do you have special needs in your family? Come to Him!

Whatever your need! Come to Him!

This woman could have stayed home when she heard that Jesus was in town.

She had reasons to be depressed and discouraged.

She had been told that there was no help for her.

That she would not get better

In fact, she would get worse.

She could have stayed in her pew when she felt Jesus was in that place.

But she made the decision to rise up out of the crowd and crawl down to where Jesus was

As she touched the Hem of His Robe

If we could see into Zechariah’s eyes

If we could see the corner of his lips

I believe we would see a sparkle in Zechariah's eyes.

The hint of a grin on Zechariah's face

He knew that someday the daughters of Israel would see the promised Messiah and be made whole.

He delivered her “By the Touch of the Hem of His Robe.”

You have to rise up

You have to call on Jesus

You have to reach out and be healed and forgiven by the hem of his robe.

I want you to know your children are going to meet you in heaven?

How by faith!

The woman said, “If I may touch but His clothes I shall be whole.”

Faith is the meeting between your limited self and your limitless God.

We have to stop thinking the God only worked miracles in the past.

That being saved is old fashion

That kneeling at an altar is out of date.

Because that is our prophecy being fulfilled

That is our identity being created.

That is how we become daughters and sons of God.

Lord, touch me.

Strengthen me.

Heal me.

Bless me

Dare to ask for the touch.