“Hands: The Power of Touch”

            As Jesus draws the disciples into pondering about fasting, a religious leader kneels before Jesus and asks for Jesus to extend his hands to his daughter, not his son, who has just died.  On the way to the house a different woman reasons that if she could just extend her hand and touch Jesus she could be healed.  Other Gospels tell us the little girl that needed touch was 12 and that the woman who braved touching Jesus had been bleeding for 12 years and was “untouchable, unclean.”  Both were women in a male dominated culture.  Jesus touches and is touched.  We might say in our colloquial language that Jesus’ heart was “touched” by the plight of these females.

“18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”  22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region. (Matthew 9: 18-26)”

         So what touches your heart today?  41,000 have died in the Syrian earthquake.  How many have died in Ukraine and Russia conflict?  Perhaps you grieve for the children lost seeking refugee in the U.K.  Then again the statistics on drug deaths in the US is staggering.  That is only the evening news tonight!  For most of us those numbers are incomprehensible!  Our hearts are touched as we pray about our children, grandchildren, and neighbors and perhaps spouse.  Jesus saw individuals as they called out for healing.  It did not matter that they were women that he was already dealing with someone else, or the status of the person requesting.  Jesus reached out and touched the little girl with his hand.  Jesus healed the woman.  He cares about our concerns as we kneel at his feet with the burdens of our heart today.  We have the power too to offer hugs and touch to lonely people.  Let us spend a few minutes praying about the places we need God’s touch today and where we can be his touch to another.  Blessings.

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