Sunday, April 15

If I Touch His Hem

If I can just touch His hem...if I can just touch His hem...

Here she was, in the midst of a multitude of people, a place the Law forbade her to be. Why?

For twelve long years, she suffered with a condition, a hemorrhage of blood, one that the doctors could not cure. She spent all her money on their lack of knowledge.

Today, the rumor spread quickly through the local grapevine that the Man of God, Jesus, had just arrived.

And she heard the rumor: He was coming her way, within her reach.

Ostracized and considered unclean, she had been depleted of everything – physically, financially, relationally, and probably emotionally. But her faith remained intact, for she held onto the Scriptures. She clung to it, knowing this was her chance to touch the Man of God Who healed.

How did she know this? She was Jewish; she knew the Scriptures. She knew Jehovah-rapha from such scriptures as “I am Jehovah your healer” (Ex. 15:26 Masoretic Text), and “But to you who fear My name, the Sun of righteousness shall rise up and healing will be on His wings.” (Mal. 4:2 Masoretic Text).

And knowing the prophecies of the Messiah, she probably clung to these verses for dear life, “Surely He has borne our sicknesses and our pains…He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.” (Isa. 53:4-5 Mas Text)

However, I am sure one Scripture stood out in her mind, “In those days…men…shall take hold, and will seize the skirt of a man, a Jew, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zech. 8:23 Mas Text)

Now, here was this Man called Yeshua, as the fulfillment of all the Scriptures. And “She said within herself, If only I shall touch His robe, I will be cured.” (Matt. 9:21 Received Greek Text)

So, she went into the streets searching for Him and found Him surrounded by a mob of people. Others in the crowd pressed into Jesus’ presence with their flesh, but this woman pressed into His presence with her faith.

Many images suggest that the woman crawled in the dirt to touch Jesus’ hem, but if she had, she would have been trampled to death. I wanted to title this: She Did Not Crawl in the Dirt! You’ll see why in a second.

People sometimes forget Jesus was Jewish, and He would have been following His Jewish heritage by wearing His traditional tallit or prayer shawl. According to the Code of Jewish Law, “Severe is the punishment of the one who neglects the performance of the Divine Command in putting on the tzitzit.”

God commanded the Israelites to make fringes or tassels on the corners of their garments that they would look upon them to remember all the commandments. The Hebrew word for fringe is tsiytsith or tzitzit. It also means a wing-like projection, a tassel, etc. Corners also means an edge, border, skirt, wing, etc.

The hem on the tallit was/is not as we know hems today. It was/is not just the end of the fabric turned under and stitched in place. The Greek word for fringe is kraspedon, which is translated hem and also means tassel, border, edge, skirt, etc.

There were/are strict rules for the construction of the knots and windings that made up (and still make up) the fringe. A tallit was/is treated with extreme respect; therefore, Jesus’ tallit would not have been dragging in the dirt. That would have been a disgrace.

Trembling, the woman flung her hand out, grasping the hem/fringe of Jesus’ garment. Immediately, Jesus stopped in His tracks, halted by a release of His power from her grasp of faith.

The Matthew account says, “But turning and seeing her, Jesus said, Be comforted daughter; your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that hour.” (Matt. 9:22 RGT)

The healing in His wings, in His fringe? In the making of the tallit, there were/are 39 windings of the fringe. Jesus received 39 lashings of the Roman whip for our affliction, for our healing!

When we realize the significance of the concept of the fringe to the early Hebraic mind, it becomes evident why this woman was instantly healed.

Are you a part of the crowd, just brushing up against Him, or are you seeking Him in the midst of all that’s going on around you? Does your faith press into His presence for all you need?

When health disintegrates, when money dissipates, when friends disappear, when the church and family disown you, what’s left? Your source of all the rest is Jesus and clinging to the fringe of His garment.

Jesus still comes today, in your direction, within your reach. He is passing by you today. Will you merely bump into Him, hoping something rubs off Him and onto you?

Or will you get close enough to reach out in faith to touch Him, to be made whole? Ask yourself: What will happen if I touch His hem?

*On Monday, joining up with...

28 Responses
  1. Shanda Says:

    I love this. To be healed we cannot just be in the crowd but we have to actively pursue him and reach out for him. We have to do our part too. It is so easy to not make the effort this woman did.

  2. lynnmosher Says:

    Shanda, thank you so much for visiting and commenting. So happy to see you. Bless you!

  3. Grabbing hold of His hem in some very needful areas! Thank you for such a powerful reminder of the power of just touching the hem of His garment! Love you, friend!

  4. Tracy Says:

    Hi Lynn, your statement about family disowning you is definitely a time where we learnt like Job said, "yet though He slay me, I will still praise Him" Its in the hard times you realize that Christ is all you need. Great post
    God bless

  5. VERY interesting, Lynn. I love the thought: Cling to the fringe.

    That might just have to go up on my fridge today.

  6. Beautiful post, Lynn! The touch of Jesus gives us all we need!

  7. This post touched my heart in several ways Lynn. As I was going through menopause I haemorrhaged for 6 months one Summer. I was extremely weak, pale and anaemic, eventually ending up in the Hospital for blood transfusions. I remember saying to a friend how much I identified with the woman in the Bible who touched the hem of His garment, with the utter desperation she felt. Yet God answered that desperation and met that deepest need because He saw her heart, faith and courage. Thank you for illuminating this text so beautifully.

  8. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, yes, Stephie! I agree. Grabbing hold and not letting go! Thank you, sweetie!

  9. lynnmosher Says:

    Tracy, I'm so sorry. Saying a prayer for you, sweetie. Blessings to you!

  10. lynnmosher Says:

    LOL Thanks so much, Carol! You're a peach! Bless you!

  11. lynnmosher Says:

    Thank you, sweet Lisa! I so appreciate you! Bless you!

  12. lynnmosher Says:

    Oh, Elizabeth! I am so sorry you had to suffer all that. Yes, you have a scripture-sister with this woman, didn't you? I pray you have much improved. Thank you so much for your comment. You've blessed me. Bless you!

  13. Dea Says:

    Thank you for reminding me of this powerful healing moment. Jesus made himself so accessible and he still does.

  14. I so love this, I did a short devotional article using the woman's faith as the basis. She needed love and acceptance, as she would have been considered "unclean". through her faith she was healed.
    We are so unworthy of love from God, but He gives us love and acceptance just as we are. I am in my soiled dress of sin and by faith

  15. Tereasa Says:

    What a beautiful post. I love the picture you painted for us with so much detail!

    I'm visiting via SDG and noticed that you have fibromyalgia. I do, too. I find it very interesting how many bloggers have fibromyalgia. I thank God for the gifts of writing and chronic pain. I think they go well together. If I did not have writing as a creative outlet, I don't know what else I could do. Without pain, I think my writing would lack.

    God bless you, I am happy to have found you today!

  16. Beautiful message, Lynn! I love how you said, "Others in the crowd pressed into Jesus’ presence with their flesh, but this woman pressed into His presence with her faith." Awesome!

    I'm doing a series on healing on my blog starting Monday. I would love to share your link to this post if you don't mind? It goes perfect with the message God has put on my heart.

    Thanks for this message! Blessings to your ministry:)

  17. lynnmosher Says:

    So true, Dea, and so glad He does! So happy to have you visit. Thanks so much for your comment. Blessings to you!

  18. lynnmosher Says:

    Hey, Mel! So happy to see you here. Isn't it awesome that He takes us just as we are? Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I deeply appreciate it. Bless you!

  19. lynnmosher Says:

    Tereasa, thank you so much for visiting. So glad to have you as a guest. Blessings to you1

  20. Wonderful post Lynn. I love all the details and colorful word pictures. I own a tallit (prayer shawl) made in Jerusalem. It's simply stunning! Mine has red, blue and gold threads running through it. It is also embellished with a gold crown and blue & gold ribbons in the fabric. The knotted tassels are cream colored. It is precious to me and I have often worn it during prayer time. I also have a print of Jesus in His tallit. Thanks for this reminder of how faith triumphs over failure.

  21. I love history lessons like this, that deepen the understanding. 39 tassels? 39 lashings! What a connection!!! I've decided that I cannot have a favorite healing story - each story I read - it is my favorite - each testimony of His great love. One of my favorite parts is her outspokenness in her actions! I like that, too! You blessed me today!

  22. Jen Ferguson Says:

    I want to be in a place of such great faith. The question for me is -- what would happen if I don't reach out and touch His hem? That has huge ramifications in my life.

  23. I hope to be touching His hem with faith! As you, so much has happened in my life there are times I it was only faith in Him that kept me whole and sane. Wonderfully written, Lynn. I enjoy reading "the rest of the story."

  24. lynnmosher Says:

    Deborah, I love tallits! I have one but don't like it. I'm going to send hubs to the Jewish shop to get a good one. Thanks so much, sweetie. Bless you!

  25. lynnmosher Says:

    ML, isn't that awesome about the 39 windings? I love that! Thanks so much, sweetie, for your comment! Bless you!

  26. lynnmosher Says:

    Jen, I am so honored to have you visit. And I agree...what happens if I don't reach out? Thank you so much for the visit and comment. I'm honored. Blessings to you!

  27. lynnmosher Says:

    Thanks so much, Ceci, for commenting. You make my heart so happy! Bless you!

  28. Denise Says:

    Beautifully written Lynn! This is a great reminder that we need to put our fears aside and push our way through with courageous faith; with the same determination as this sick woman. :)

    Blessings and hugs,