THE TOUCH THAT JESUS FEELS
Luke 8:40 48
Jesus knew how to handle life. One of the most difficult things in life to handle with grace is interruptions.
Interruption never disturbed Jesus. In our text He was involved in a mission of mercy to help one of the most
outstanding men in town, the ruler of the synagogue, when He was interrupted by a nameless woman who had a
life dominating problem. Jesus dealt with her and her problem as though she were the only person in the world.
The thing that brought her to the attention of Jesus was her touch. As He walked through the streets of
Capernaum in the company of a large crowd, the woman timidly reached out to touch the tassel on His garment as
He passed by. Even though He was being jostled by the crowd, and was bumping elbows with the crowd, her touch
was different. Jesus felt her touch. When she touched Him, He felt healing strength go out to her. She would never
be the same again.
Many people came close to Jesus, even bumped Him, but they were never helped. He did not feel their touch. If
you want help from Jesus, you need to touch Him like this woman.
I. THE TOUCH THAT JESUS FEELS IS CHARACTERIZED BY A GREAT SENSE OF NEED
Luke's description of the woman highlights her need. "And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which
had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any'' (v. 43). Just to be a woman in that society
was a problem. In the world they had very little acceptance and received very little affirmation. But this woman had
a life dominating problem on top of that.
A. The need she had.
She had an ''issue of blood.'' This was probably a menstrual type bleeding. The problem had been with her for
these long years. While the physical problem itself was enough, it carried with it great emotional and spiritual
implications for her life. This type of bleeding probably made her ritually unclean. Everything and everyone she
touched became ceremonially unclean. She would be socially segregated from her family and her friends. She
would be forbidden entrance into the temple. She was not only physically ill; she was unclean.
You may feel that you have such a life dominating problem. The experience of this woman is included to give you
B. What she had done about her problem.
She had sought help from the doctors. Luke indicates that they had taken her money, but had really been of no
help. Luke, the physician, does not mention with the other Gospel writers, that she had suffered much at their
hands. Their primŽitive forms of medicine had actually hurt rather than helped.
When this woman came to Jesus, she came with a hopeless case from a human perspective. She had tried
everything only to be disappointed. Can you imagine what all of this had done to the woman? It is easy to
understand why she stepped up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His garment: her problem had destroyed her
self image and left her feeling worthless. She really needed help
Can you identify with this woman? Is there a life dominating problem that has defied every solution? Have you run
out of possibilities? Do you really desire for life to be different? Then touch Jesus! This is the kind of touch that He
feels. He never ignores those who come with such desperation.
II. THE TOUCH THAT JESUS FEELS IS MOTIVATED BY FAITH IN JESUS
A. The nature of the faith.
The woman was evidently a citizen of Capernaum. Jesus had healed so many people in that community that almost
everyone must have known someone who had been healed by Him. This poor isolated woman heard these reports
of the healing miracles, and hope began to be reborn in her heart. It had died as she had gone from physician to
physician in vain. This poor woman felt that if she could get to Jesus, she too might receive healing.
Her faith was not based on her confidence in herself. She had none! The reason she approached Jesus from
behind just to touch the hem of His garment was she felt so unworthy of coming near Him. She probably felt that
such an approach would not be profitable.
Her faith was in Him. She believed that healing power was in Him. Some have seen in this an element of
superstition. To be sure her faith was not a knowledgeable, mature faith, but it did have the right object. The most
important thing about faith is always its object. The object of her faith was the Lord Jesus Christ. She had
confidence that healing grace could be found in Him.
B. The act of the faith.
Ordinarily faith will express itself in a request; Faith will come to Jesus and make the need known. In the case of
this woman her faith acted in an unusual way. She meekly reached out to just touch the hem of His garment. This
is not presented to us as an example to follow, but rather as a reason for encouragement. It really doesn't matter
how the faaith is expressed, as long as it has the right object.
Do you have faith in Jesus? Has His word produced a confidence in your heart? Then activate that faith! Express
that confidence in Him.
C. The response to faith.
According to the inspired record, the response was immediate. "And immediately her issue of blood stopped."
Deliverance came at once. Her life dominating problem was removed. Jesus Christ our Lord always responds to
So many times our contact with Jesus is not an expression of faith. Other people touched Him that day, but nothing
happened. They bumped elbows with Him as they walked together but received no help. The only touch that He
responds to is the touch motivated by faith. We must do those things that will allow us to become persons of real
faith in Him.
III. THE TOUCH THAT JESUS FEELS IS ACKNOWLEDGED WITH HELP
The response to this woman by Jesus is an important part of the inspired record.
A. Help with the problem.
We have already called attention to the healing of the incurable disease. What the physician could not do, Jesus
did. This help should give hope to every person who is found with an impossible situation in our day.
Can everyone with an incurable disease expect a healing miracle like this one? I think we must honestly face this
question. The answer is no. Sometimes the help Jesus gives is with grace to bear the problem. Sometimes it is with
the complete removal of the problem. What makes the difference? His Sovereign will and infinite wisdom!
If that life dominating problem is spiritual, you can confidently expect help, even deliverance. When we touch Him
out of a sense of desperate need and with simple faith, He will come to the rescue. He will not ignore you and your
need. He will acknowledge the touch.
B. Help with faith.
The other help Jesus gave to the woman may be more significant than the physical healing. He sent her away with
a greater blessing than she dared expect.
When Jesus felt the touch of the woman, He asked, "Who touched me?" He explained, "Somebody hath touched
me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me." When the woman realized that her secret was known, she stepped
out from the crowd "trembling" to acknowledge that she had touched Him.
The response of Jesus to her was a surprise. "Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole; go in
peace." Jesus helped her with her faith by bringing her to a public confession. He always does this. He wants faith
to be expressed publicly. This is the reason that He gave baptism to go with saving faith. In baptism the person is
made to publicly acknowledge faith in Him. It has a way of setting a seal on the faith.
Jesus helped her faith by giving her added insight into Himself. He wanted her to know that she was a person of
worth to Him. If she had been allowed to slip away without the public acknowledgement of the miracle, she would
never have known that she received the miracle because Jesus willed that she receive it. She would probably have
thought that it was like magic. But the confrontation let her know that it happened because Jesus willed for it to
happen. Jesus always deals with us in a way that will enlarge our understanding of who He is.
Then He let her know that she had had a part in the miracle. He said to her "be of good comfort: Your faith has
made you whole." Who healed her? Obviously Jesus did. But our Lord points her to her faith. This woman must
have needed this type of affirmation.
Jesus does so much more than just help us with our problems. He seeks to bring us into such a relationship with
Himself that we will be prepared to face whatever life may bring.
Do you dare "touch" Jesus? You have known about Him, as it were, bumped Him along the way, but will you touch
Him acknowledging your need, expressing your faith, and receiving His help? This could be the best day of your
life if you would just touch Him today. You can touch Him with a simple prayer of faith. He listens to hear your needy
and believing voice!