A HEM OF THE GARMENT RELATIONSHIP
If you haven’t heard it before, or if you’ve heard it before but don’t believe it, let me start off by saying that God, the Father, Creator, Life-giver, and Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord and High Priest want an intimate, personal relationship with you. I hope that sinks in to the core of your heart and mind and impacts every thought, every decision, every moment of your life. It is one of the greatest revelations of Christianity – we, mere mortals, can commune with, have a direct, personal and intimate relationship with God.
If you have trouble believing this as fact, believing it in a way that impacts your life, let me offer a couple of proofs from Jesus’ time in human form on this earth, which, I feel, support this amazing truth.
Mark 5:22-34 [NIV] 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" 31 "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' " 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Notice a few things here:
- You can be made well by Jesus from a distance – at arm’s length or even further away.
This is supported by Matthew14:35-36 [ESV] 35 And when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well. Clearly, all that was required was to touch the fringe of His garment.
It is also supported by Luke 7:2-10 [ESV] 2 Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3 When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue." 6 And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
Jesus will allow this and even acknowledges that faith it takes to believe He could and would do that.
- This is not Jesus’ preference.
I believe this is supported when we examine the example of the incident of healing of the Centurion’s servant (found in Luke 7) and especially in the woman who’d been bleeding for 12 years (found in Mark 5). Here are a few things I feel are of importance in these passages:
- Notice that Jesus planned to go in person to heal the Centurion’s servant. It was the Centurion’s idea to have is servant healed from afar. Jesus did not say, “I can do that from here,” although He clearly was able.
- The woman had already been healed from her sickness, by touching the hem of His garment. Jesus’ work – the work of healing – was completed. However, Jesus wanted to look her in the eye and talk to her directly. He could have let it go. He refused to miss the opportunity of personalizing the healing process.
The woman healed of the bleeding was worried about bothering Jesus. Didn’t want to impede His progress. He was on His way to heal someone else. Jesus stopped, turned around and spoke directly to her. Jesus wants us to interrupt Him, to “bother” Him.
This is also supported, I believe, by the incident of His blessing the children. In this case, the parents did want to interrupt Jesus to get their children blessed and it was the disciples that thought it was too much of an imposition. Jesus did not feel that way. [See Mark10:13-16 KJV] In fact, as Mark puts in in verse 14, Jesus was “much displeased” about the stance of the disciples on this issue.
In Luke 7:36-50 we find another incident where society would have dictated that Jesus keep His distance, but Jesus preferred an intimate relationship, allowing the sinful woman to touch Him in what would have been considered a very scandalous way.
Jesus’ commitment to an intimate relationship with humans, began when He did the work of creation, stooping down and forming the dirt in to Adam and breathing life into Him, then put Adam to sleep and personally used his rib to create Eve. This, too, could have been done from afar. [See Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-22
His time here on earth brought Him more intimately into contact with what it means to be human. Hebrews 4:14-16 [KJV] 14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
The act of prayer draws Him near, as we find in Deuteronomy 4:7 [NIV] 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?
In all things, at all times, Jesus chooses intimacy. He does not seek, nor does He want, a “hem of the garment” relationship. And we should not seek it either.
Sisters, let’s grab Jesus and hug Him to us. Let’s hold Him close, cry on His feet, rest our heads on His chest, sit on His lap for blessings and every day and every way seek to be nearer to Him than the day before.
I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.