There’s a breathless short story in Mark 5.25-27 that leads up to one powerful moment.
Well, it’s breathless if you can read the original Greek. Here’s what it might sound like if we put it directly in to English (imagine the voice of the storyteller growing more and more passionate):
And a woman - having a discharge of blood for twelve years and suffering most under many doctors and spending all that she had and not benefitting but worsening, hearing about Jesus, coming behind in the crowd - touched his garment.
It is the TOUCH that climaxes her story; it is the TOUCH that Jesus recognizes and he turns around in the crowd and asks, “Who TOUCHED me?”
The physical connection between Jesus and people, sick people especially, resulted in a powerful change. The woman was healed. The blind received sight (Matthew 20.34). The contagious was cleansed (Matthew 8.3). The injured was restored (Luke 22.51). People knew the power of touch - why else would people bring “children to Jesus that he might TOUCH them” (Mark 10.13)?
The power of touch continued after Jesus’ ascension into heaven. “God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19.11-12).
The importance of touch continues today. Lay hands on to receive the Holy Spirit - Acts 8.17. Anoint the sick with oil (and prayer) - James 5.14. Commission into the Lord’s service - 1 Timothy 4.14.
Have you been touched today? Have you touched another? Have you connected? In a very real way, when we touch a person in the name of Jesus we are linking hands with a line of people that reach all the way back to Jesus. And this feels very good, doesn’t it?