His Touch.

Immediately after they came out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever; and immediately they spoke to Jesus about her. And He came to her and raised her up, taking her by the hand, and the fever left her, and she waited on them. When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door.

— Mark 1:29-33

Jesus had the ability to touch people, like Simon’s mother-in-law, and drive away illness. The story says he “raised her up, taking her by the hand”. Fever drained her body of its strength. His hands gave it back. Fever put her to bed. His touch lifted her out of it. Once powerless and spiritless, now powerful and spirited.

Whether it was the flu or something more serious, Jesus wanted to do something. You wouldn’t see it mentioned here but shortly after inviting him in, and mentioning the sick in-law, they “asked Jesus to help her” (Luke 4:38).

Then, next thing you see is Jesus at her bedside, just lifting her up. Fever gone.

You can imagine the rolling laughter, the loud voices in that house, celebrating over the meal because of this healing. The hilarity of it, the irony of it. Her serving with all of her might where minutes earlier she had no might. Could they even eat now? Did they try? Plates perhaps half-finished as they gawked at him, crowding him. How did you do it? You mean, you can just touch people and they get better? Where does that come from?

All the while, word must have gotten out because we soon see a line forming at Simon’s door like Christmas shoppers. This all began at sunset. Maybe it took this long for the buzz to become a swarm. Jesus didn’t appear irritated by it, rather he took not only the ill but demon-possessed. Talk about drawing attention to yourself.

But I don’t think it was about the attention for Jesus. For one, he didn’t cause the crowd to form. He didn’t call them unto him in the streets. He came for a meal. But, one thing lead to another and the crowd called to him at the door.

The healing was actually simple. Not to say it would be easy for us. Obviously, it was easy for Jesus. By “simple” I mean it didn’t require a gospel tract and a sinner’s prayer. No Romans Road or 4 Spiritual Laws. No Power Point slides. No lectures. Not even a Bible. Just a touch with no recorded words and the love of God was transmitted to a desperate soul.

The love of God begins with the Life-Giving Touch. In the book of Genesis 2: 7, “the LORD God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.” To “form” is to touch with your hands. To mold. To design. This creation story sounds as much like an embrace as it does a history. God resting His hands on a man, giving him life.

This is not to diminish the Message of Christ, what would most often be called “The Gospel”. It is rather to redirect our attention to the catalyst for redemption, grace, the salvation of the human race.

The touch. Too few have been embraced. Not too many have had a comforting hand on their shoulder. There are many who wish someone would hold their hand. Starving for a regenerative, healing touch. This is what Jesus did best.

The more we touch and the less we talk, perhaps we’ll realize we are all able to heal.


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