"...If I shall touch but his garment, I shall be whole." - Matthew
of people were following Jesus. The disciples stood
guard and watched as Jesus made His way through
the jostling crowd who came to see this man who worked miracles. There
were those who were lame, hanging onto canes
for support, the blind led by family, and the deaf whose eyes
hope that Jesus
cure their infirmities. Skeptics came in droves for they heard about the miracles Jesus was
performing and they wanted to see whether the stories were
actually true. If so, this man was
defying everything they believed in because He was promising and
doing things no one had ever done. Many had proclaimed these
miracles; the crippled walking away
and shouting with elation, the deaf now hearing the noise of the
crowds, and the blind on their knees thanking this man Jesus
with loud rejoicing, "Jesus healed
me! He really healed me!" Some reports said He even commanded
violent sea storms to come to a halt. But through all this, there
was something else that brought them here today; He claimed to
be the Son of God Who could give eternal life. Was this
man a heretic? The
skeptics shook their heads in doubt. So much to see and to
The large crowd followed wildly, eager to see Him in action. They were pushing and shoving
others out of their way in their wild desire
to get closer and closer to this unusual man called Jesus.
But there was also a very steadfast and persevering
woman who unflinchingly strained forward, set on reaching the
Lord. She desperately continued to fight her way
through the crowds even though she had strong moments of fear
for she knew that being a woman with an issue of blood for 12
years, she was considered unclean and unfit to be among others.
Determined to touch Him, she knew she might be
turned away in disgust. Yet, she continued her fight to get to
Him, in complete and total faith that He would make her whole. He was her last
crowds around her roared insults as she
elbowed her way, bit by bit coming closer, ignoring the screams and
shouts of outrage but she took no notice for her eyes moved straight ahead
and fixed on
Jesus. He was her final hope. Trembling, she slide to a stop and
kneeling, touched the hem of the robe Jesus was wearing.
Immediately at this touch of the woman, Jesus stopped, turned,
then asked, "Who touched me?" The people who stood further
back from Jesus nudged each other whispering loudly. ...why has He stopped?
What's going on?" and they craned their necks to see what was
happening. The disciples walking with Jesus also stopped and turned around to see why
people were becoming so loud
and angry. But Jesus, Who had a different reason to see who was
nearest to Him, again asked of the crowd, "Someone touched
me! Who touched Me?".
a disciple replied, "Master, all these
people are crowding around you. They are pushing to get closer!" In the background,
clamorous murmuring and speculation going on among the
multitudes of people. They became silent when they heard Him
persistently ask again, "Who touched my garment? I felt the power of
healing go out of me!"
with the issue of blood stood shaking with fear at the
sidelines, not knowing what to say or how to answer for she feared the consequences of her act. But, she
with the thousands of people rushing to Him, surely He cannot
know it was me. But His eyes turned around
immediately and He looked
directly at her. She thought, "How can He know it was I
who touched His robe? Will He be angry at me? Will He think
that I have made Him unclean? Should I tell Him the truth why I did this? Yes, I will tell
Him that for 12 years I have
been afflicted with this issue of blood and maybe He will forgive
me. I will ask for His mercy. This is my only chance. I
must tell Him. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!" With bowed head, she
crawled on her knees
to Jesus and humbly confessed, "It was I who touched your
garment, my Lord."
With compassion and love, Jesus looked down at her as she humbly
knelt on the
ground before Him. He spoke kindly, “Take heart, my daughter,” He
said, “your faith has healed you.”
And the woman was healed at that moment. (See Matthew 9: 20-22)
Jesus had spoken with heavenly authority over death, disease
and all aspects of life.
St. Matthew writes about the woman who touched the
robe of Jesus, he is not solely writing just about this woman,
for she is not the central figure in this
encounter with Jesus. St. Matthew was making known the great power and magnitude of Christ, the Son of
the living God.
It declares with authority of Who Jesus is and the eternal power He
The mighty strength of God was in Jesus to heal, to restore, to make
whole, and ultimately take on the sins of the entire world.
This was His mission. And this was His gift to all
humanity if they accepted it through faith in Him.
Isaiah 53: 2-7, the
Old Testament tells of the coming of Jesus: "
a man of sorrows,
and familiar with suffering...."
He died to put our punishments of sin on Himself. This was
His sacrifice to us. Not only has He paid for our sins, He
is still with us,
telling and showing us that even
now we too, can "touch the hem of His garment" through
faith and prayer and be healed if it is the will of the
Father. With trust we can watch His mercy descend upon all of us
who have faith in Him. We, who believe, know that He sits at the right hand of God and
He takes all our sufferings directly to our Heavenly Father. Only Jesus
can make this possible. John 14:13 reads: "And
I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Father may be
glorified in the Son".
There is a story about a
large jetliner carrying many
passengers to their destination when their pilot warned that there
would be heavy turbulence ahead and everyone must fasten their
seat belts. The plane went up and down, shaking and losing
altitude. Everyone was frantic and frightened except a young girl, who had her arms
quietly folded in her lap and sat directly behind the cockpit.
Among the passengers was a priest who tried to calm everybody by leading
them in prayer. Even those who did not believe in God were
willing to pray. When the storm settled, the priest
who was seated across the aisle from the girl leaned over
and asked quietly, “I’m impressed by your calmness. Everybody else on the
plane was really upset, but you sat there with no fear. Weren't
you afraid?” The girl replied, “I
was not afraid because my Heavenly Father is flying this plane
and when I prayed to Him He calmed my heart and
let me know I would make it home
safely if I had faith." The priest
and nodded knowingly.
are many kinds of storms that buffet us in our lives and these
storms can darken our skies and throw our plane into
uncontrollable movement. We have had times when we felt we were
being tossed about with no relief. But if we remember that our Father is the
Pilot of our "plane", if we have faith that Jesus is in total
control of ALL things, we, like the girl in the story, can rest on His
assurances. With Jesus as our advocate, we have nothing to
it time to
cash in on your own faith? How do we do this? We keep moving
always in the promises Christ made to us who believe in Him.
Philippians 4: 6-7
tells, "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about
everything. Tell God what you have need of, and thank Him for
all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will
guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
carry your burdens alone;
over to Jesus Christ. Give all things we cannot fix to
Him. Tell Him what you need. Like the woman with the issue of
blood in the bible, Jesus is there for you.
James 1: 1-3 relates, " Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your
way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you
know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none
other name under heaven given among men, whereby
we must be saved.” - Acts 4:12 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
Piano & instrumental - Tammi Yates - Piano
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
There's just something about that Name.
Master, Savior, Jesus,
Like the fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Let all heaven and earth proclaim,
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there's something about that Name.