Summary: The touch that makes Jesus notice
February 20, 1999
If church attendance is the main criterion to determine one’s spiritual development and growth, then many of us here, especially those who grew up in the church environment, would undoubtedly received higher scores, if not perfect. But the fact of the matter is, and this is a sad one, that although church attendance is supposed to make one grow spiritually mature and strong, in some cases it does not. This is why we find some Adventist Christians who grew up in the church, Sabbath after Sabbath they are in the church, but still their spiritually development is the same as those who just came in to the church. That is why we find some of our children, most of them brought up in the church, leaving the church. And we often ask the question: Why?
Is it possible that a person could be part of the crowd that follow Jesus, and yet he does not feel the presence of Jesus? Is it possible to talk and hear about spiritual things and yet we find our spiritual need unsatisfied? Is it possible to pray for spiritual blessings and yet when it is given to us it does not change us at all?
A. Ellen G. White’s Statement:
Sister White, in her book “my Life Today” page 13 tried to answer this question when she wrote, “To talk of religious things in a casual way, to pray for spiritual blessings without real soul hunger and living faith, avails little. The wondering crowd that pressed close about Christ realized no vital power from the contact. But when the poor, suffering woman, in her great need, put forth her hand and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, she felt the healing virtue. Hers was the touch of faith. Christ recognized that touch, and He determined there to give a lesson for all His followers to the close of time. He knew that virtue had gone out of Him, and turning about in the throng He said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’ Surprised at such question, His disciples answered, ‘Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?”
B. What Made the Touch of this Woman So Different from the Others?
1. It was a touch out of her desperate need.
2. It was a touch of her utter determination.
3. It was a touch of unwavering faith.
C. A Woman’s Desperation (Luke 8:43)
1. Her Problem is Revealed in One Verse:
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.”
a. She had an incurable sickness—she had it for twelve years
b. She had spent all her money on physicians.
c. She was ceremonially unclean.
2. In every aspect, this woman was in a desperate situation.
a. Physically desperate: Her health was gone
b. Financially desperate: Her money was gone
c. Spiritually desperate: She could not enter the temple.
3. In a way, her condition is a picture of all people apart from Christ.
a. Physically: we are ever moving toward death
b. Financially: money cannot buy what we need.
c. Spiritually: our sin separates us from God.
D. A Woman’s Determination (Luke 8:44)
1. “Came from behind Him, and touched the border of His garment.”
Conditions to discourage her from coming to Jesus
a. The great crowd surrounding Him
b. The attitude of His disciples
c. The importance of His mission
d. Her own appearance: pale, poor, pitiful
2. Still, she pressed through Jesus
3. “If I can but touch His clothe” (Mark 5:28)
4. A Man May Go to Heaven:
Without a great name
Without big earning
Without 10,000 other things.
But he can never go to heaven without Christ.
E. A Woman’s Deliverance (Luke 8:45-46)
1. Her deliverance came from contact with Jesus
2. This was a touch of faith
3. She exercised greater faith than healthy ones in the crowd
4. Our Lord’s response to her faith
a. “Who touched me?” Sensitive to her touch
b. “Virtue is gone out of me”
5. Many surround Christ who do not touch Him
F. A Woman’s Declaration (Luke 8:47)
1. Her trembling…then her testimony
a. She told him why she touched him
b. She declared to the crowd what had happened
2. How Her words have endured
a. Only one in the crowd whose words are known today
b. In touching Jesus, she was able to touch others
G. Conclusion: How to get the most from our weekly spiritual attendance in the church and grow Spiritually? How can we make our church experience a spiritual benefit?
1. Press through to Jesus
a. Come as you are with all your needs