Summary: This message is part of a series on understanding God through our senses. The focus is the transforming touch of Jesus who is willing to identify with us in our sinfulness. The touch of Jesus we can use to bring transformation to the world.
You can listen to the sermon here:-
How many of you remember the first time that you held hands with a significant other person in your life.
Maybe it was your first girlfriend - the girl at school who was going out with Jeff all week, but dumped him on Friday morning.
By lunch time on Friday you’re sitting her and your hands touch and she held on.
You think this is it. You were in love and it was going to last forever.
Until Monday when she went back to Jeff.
That is what happens when you are 10 isn’t it.
But you remember that touch.
How many of you can think of a time like that?
Maybe it was the first time you held hands with the person who would become your spouse.
I was 17 at the time and Corianna was … 16 … she was very mature!
I could drive and after youth group I would usually drive a car load of people home because I had an EH Holden with a bench seat in the front.
It turned out that one Sunday there were three of us in the front me, Corianna and another person in the front, and three in the back.
The most direct route to drop of the passengers would mean Corianna was the third to drop off.
As we were driving I noticed her hand, her right hand, was on the seat next to me as I was driving. This is great … so, I came up with a new plan.
I was change gears
For those who don’t know the gear shift on an EH Holden is on the column.
So I was changing gears and not putting my hand on steering wheel but put it on the seat.
Change gears … hand on seat.
Sometimes our pinkies touched. Sometimes a couple of fingers.
There was this spark.
By the time I had dropped her off the signals were very clear.
The power of touch.
In one way or another we all long for touch don’t we.
By nature we are designed for touch. We are designed to give touch and we are designed to receive touch.
But the thing about touch is that if you want to receive touch we often need to take a risk and make ourselves vulnerable.
I know there are people in this world that if you want touch or a hug you just go to them and you can guarantee they will give you a good hug, or a welcome that involves an embrace of some time. And those people are great to be around … unless you are a person who doesn’t like that sort of physical contact.
But I’m talking here about more intimate touch … that vulnerability touch.
The part of your life where you come out of your space into the space of another person.
That is a different space.
It is the sort of touch which is unplanned, unrehearsed, that is unannounced … moments which lead to a transformed relationship.
Can you think of those times in your life? The power of touch.
So, because it has such power, we know and we understand that God is also a God of touch.
So the question is, “How is God a God of touch?”
Now, last week, when we looked at the sense of sight we read this Scripture. In John 14:9 we read “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
So if we want to understand how God is a God of touch we first have a look at what Jesus - what did Jesus do in terms of using touch in his ministry - when we see what Jesus did we understand what God is doing.
And there is a really powerful section of Scripture that gives us a huge insight into the power of touch.
Luke 5:12-16 (read)
The power of touch
Let me give you a bit of a context so you can appreciate the significance of what is happening here.
There is a man, let’s picture him being in his mid-thirties.
A Jewish man.
He is just getting on with life.
He has got four children. He has gotten himself to a point in his life where has established his home.
He finally has a good job and a solid home. And he is starting to get ahead.
He comes home one day and there is this spot on the back of his hand.
It doesn’t hurt and doesn’t itch - but it is there.
So he just ignores it.
Then one day he comes home from work and shows his wife a small sore that developed on his hand from using a certain tool too much. It’s not real painful, but it does keep him from working on his house that evening.