Monday, March 08, 2010

The Touch Of Faith

Matthew 9:12-13 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Matthew 9:20-22 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Mark 5:25-34 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

A crowd surrounded Jesus as He went about preaching that day. So many people pressing in around Him - yet only one in that crowd touched Jesus; one woman, with an issue of blood, reached out to touch the hem of His garment; only one was made whole.

This Jewish woman had been sick for twelve years with an issue of blood - according to the Mosaic Law, she was considered unclean, and would therefore have been shunned or avoided by others. No doubt she heard of Jesus' claims to be the Great Physician and the Messiah. Would He be the one to heal her when all else failed?

There are many religious people going through the motions today - following their rituals, whether they be seeking church, meaningless repetition in prayer, baptism, communion, good works, following the Law - but never personally seeking the Saviour.

Here was a woman who was willing to seek the Saviour. She had spent all her money on the physicians, but they could not help her. Only the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ could. She got to where she decided she must touch Him. Regardless of the mass of people surrounding her, regardless of the difficulties and trials in seeking Him, she must go to Him - she must touch Him. Jesus was her only hope!

She was unclean, unworthy. Faint (from weakness resulting from her continual loss of blood), fearful (Luke 8:47 says she hid herself after she touched Him), faltering, but her sense of need compelled her to go to the Saviour.

She touched Jesus secretly (no doubt wondering how He and His disciples might react), tremblingly, hurriedly - BUT she touched Him by faith!

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

How about you? Have you realized your need of the Saviour? Reaching out by faith will bring Jesus' touch of healing on your life, your heart, your soul. He will make you whole. It might not be God's will to heal you physically of some affliction, but it is always His will to heal you spiritually!

Whatever your sins, whatever your past - touch the Saviour and He will heal you. Your touch of faith will bring God's touch of healing and forgiveness.

Like He had compassion on this sick woman in the crowd, He will have compassion on you. Won't you turn from your sins to the Saviour today?

I read this poem to close:

The Touch Of The Master's Hand

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it was scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folk?" he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?
"A dollar - a dollar - then two, only two -
"Two dollars, and who'll make it three?

"Going for three" but no -
From the room far back, a grey-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loosened strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "NOW what am I bid for the old violin?"
And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars - and who'll make it two?
"Two thousand - and who'll make it three?
"Three thousand once - three thousand twice -
"And going - and gone," cried he.

The people cheered, but some cried,
"We do not understand what changed its worth?"
- Quick came the reply,
"The Touch of the Master's Hand."
And many a man with his life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned off cheap, to a thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage - a glass of wine,
A game" - and he travels on:
He is going once - and going twice -
He's going - and almost gone!
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Can never quite understand,
The worth of a soul, and the change that's wrought,
By the Touch of the Master's Hand.

Poem written by Myra Brooks Welch

Preached on Friday April 1st/05
Jerry Bouey

Some of the points and thoughts in this devotional were gleaned by this message preached by Charles Spurgeon:

Real Contact With Jesus

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