Best of all, to get to speak to him, to feel his power and influence in their lives. The same thing happened when Mother Teresa was still alive and she would come to visit a town. Or, nowadays, Billy Graham for that matter. People who come near them or touch them, somehow, feel close to God and extremely blessed. Even the sick have experienced healing power in their lives. In the book of Acts, chapter 5, there is such a phenomenon.
The apostle Peter was in the temple at the place called Solomon's colonnade. Because many men and women believed in the Lord, people brought their sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. People saw in Peter healing power that he did in the name of Jesus. Later, in Acts 19, Paul was in Ephesus and God did extra-ordinary miracles through himso that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick and their illnesses were cured and evil spirits left them.
While on earth, He made Himself available to the people, going from town to town, house to house, ate with tax-collectors and sinners, easily talked to people from every social class, slave and free, Jew and Gentile, men, women and children. Whoever came to Him, He never turned away. The people often crowded around Him and many took the initiative to have Jesus come near and touch them. In Matthew 14, just after Jesus had walked on the water, people brought all their sick to Him and begged Him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak and all who touched Him were healed.
In Luke 6, people all tried to touch Him because power was coming from Him and healing them all. In Luke 18, people were also bringing babies to Jesus to have Him touch them. Oh, what a joy, what a blessing to feel the warmth of Jesus' touch! It seems that Luke, himself a doctor, knew the special effects of touch.
And how it enhanced healing for the sick. He mentions Jesus' touch more often than Matthew and Mark.
The power of touch by a doctor or therapist, even today, enhances healing. It's regrettable that we live in a society where no one dares to touch another person for fear of sexual harassment — a touch that so easily sends out the wrong message. Touch, of course, must always be appropriate. Be it on the arm or shoulder, a gentle embrace or a hug.
It's often done at weddings and funerals and other such occasions of great joy or sadness. Babies need to be touched, cuddled and held to grow and develop normally.
Our children need to be touched and hugged on occasion, including through the teen years. Adults also need to be touched. We need to do it more often at the appropriate times and places.
Thinking and knowing that someone cares enough to call and talk. We should not be afraid to reach out and touch someone. People in the crowds reached out to touch Jesus and He touched them with power. The power of God went out from Him to heal and restore. One of the most moving stories in Scripture of such healing power was of a woman in the crowd who had suffered for twelve long years from some sort of bleeding.
Doctors were of no help and she had spent all her money but still there was no cure. Worse, she was considered to be an outcast of society, ceremonially unclean.
According to Leviticus 15, when a woman has a discharge of blood she would be unclean as long as she had the discharge. This poor woman had been unclean for twelve long years and no-one touched her for fear that they then would become unclean.
Understand then why she had no intention of meeting Jesus face to face. Sure enough, immediately she felt the bleeding had stopped. With the crowd pressing Him on every side, Peter found it a strange question. But Jesus insisted, "Someone touched Me, because I know power has gone out from me. She came trembling. Would He be angry and scold her, treat her harshly and reject her? After all, she had been unclean all these years, and besides, she was a woman.
He initiated the process.
He asked for help. We think we can figure it out for ourselves. Or we go out in search of healing in the world, mistakenly thinking that someone or something will be able to help us. Too often, we turn to our loving and merciful God only as a last resort. Why do you think that is? Perhaps it is shame. Knowing that we are not worthy to stand in His presence, we look for another solution. Or maybe we are unwilling to submit to the fact that we need God, for this dependency would require a commitment, a life change.
We want to be healed without making any changes in our lives. Is it perhaps our culture of minimalism, the desire for more with the least possible effort? We want to lose weight by taking some magic pill, when we know the answer is to change the way we eat and exercise. We want to make more money, but work less. We want to be healed without life change. Yet is this not the challenge Jesus makes to us? He is always willing to heal us.