Summary: This message uses a video presentation of the poem "Touch of the Master’s Hand" as a lead in to encourage believers to "Reach Out And Touch" others during the Advent Season
The Master’s Touch
[Note: This message began with a video illustration of the poem "Touch of the Master’s Hand" available through Mainstay Church Resources’ "The Christmas Touch" Advent 2001 material.]
Don’t you hate it when you see a sign that says “don’t touch”?
Aren’t you glad that God never has that attitude toward how He treats us? He created each of us with the need to touch…to be touched.
It is probably not a coincidence that one of the most popular programs on television is still “Touched By An Angel”.
However, our text today talks about two people who were touched by God. It is interesting how the Holy Spirit intertwines two stories – at either end of the social spectrum to teach us an important lesson about “touch”.
Let’s read the passage together:
40On the other side of the lake the crowds received Jesus with open arms because they had been waiting for him. 41And now a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell down at Jesus’ feet, begging him to come home with him. 42His only child was dying, a little girl twelve years old. [“Please come and place your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”]
As Jesus went with him, he was surrounded by the crowds. 43And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors and still could find no cure. [In fact, she was worse. She had heard about Jesus, so] 44She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his robe. [For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his clothing, I will be healed.”] Immediately, the bleeding stopped [and she could feel that she had been healed!]
[Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked,] 45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”
46But Jesus told him, “No, someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” 47When the woman realized that Jesus knew, she began to tremble and fell to her knees before him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. 48“Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace. [You have been healed.]”
49While he was still speaking to her, a messenger arrived from Jairus’s home with the message, “Your little girl is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.”
50But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust me, and she will be all right.”
51When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone go in with him except Peter, James, John, and the little girl’s father and mother. 52The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she is only asleep.”
53But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died. 54Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, “Get up, my child!” 55And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up!
The Master’s Touch – the touch of Jesus.
Two ends of the spectrum. A young preacher’s kid from the upper end of society and and poor, outcast woman from the “other end”.
Yet Jesus touched them both, it did not matter.
“And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scattered with sin,
Is auctioned off cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin…
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never quite understands
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.”
I want to share with you this morning several simply, yet profound truths from these two intertwined events.
Truths about the touch of the Master’s Hand.
Truth #1: People need to be touched!
It would be very easy to make light of “touch”. I’m not simply talking about physical touch either though medical science tells us that physical touch is a basic need.
I’m told that new born babies who are left untouched will begin to wither away physically. The very act of touch can stimulate healing in the human body in some cases.
But the kind of touch we’re focusing on today goes beyond the issue of physical touch – to the touch of God.
The leader of the Synagogue understood that ultimately it was only the touch of Jesus that would bring healing to his daughter. He intervened on behalf of someone who could not at the moment help herself.