Just Touching the Hem

Matthew 14 contains larger than life, dramatic stories of Jesus’ ministry. The miraculous feeding of more than 5000 people, starting with just a sack lunch. Wave walking across the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm and inviting Peter to join him. Pretty big stuff, right?

Tucked into the last several verses of the chapter, almost as an afterthought, is an additional ministry experience that most of us would probably skim right over and ignore.

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret.  And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Matthew 14:32-26 NIV.

As dramatic as the whole wave walking thing was, it only affected 12 men. When Jesus got out of the boat, the entire region turned out, bringing all their sick with them. How many were healed? Dozens? Hundreds? By what power? The power of just a touch. Just a brief connection with Jesus.

How do I affect those around me. The ones with whom I come in contact every day. In my department or walking the halls of the hospital. What healing do I bring? Is a momentary contact with me one that uplifts those around me or pulls them down?

Touching the hem of Jesus’ cloak- this is something beyond the reach of our coworkers, our friends, our family.  Jesus, the One who brings worlds into existence with a word, chooses to use our hands, our mouths, yours…. and mine, to touch those around us with healing, with encouragement, with forgiveness, with grace. Will you choose to act and to speak for Him? I pray that I will be a faithful, though imperfect, mimic, using His own power to imitate Him one day at a time.


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