TOUCHING HIS HEM
I painted Touching His Hem based on the story of the lady whom God healed after having a serious bodily ailment for twelve years.
“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 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. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering”” (NIV).
“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”” (NIV).
Touching His Hem is a story about a woman who suffered tremendously. She had a physical ailment that continued for twelve years. She went to physicians and sought healing, but despite her efforts she remained sick. The Word even tells us that her condition worsened. So physically things seemed pretty bad. On top of that we read that she spend all her money in pursuit of her healing, so not only did she deteriorate in her health, she also lost all her provision. Besides the physical attack on her life, she was also financially challenged. If that was not enough to deal with, she was considered unclean for twelve years according to the Jewish laws and customs. Consequently this must have affected her relationships.
Her physical, financial and relational well-being were under attack. I wonder how this might have affected her emotional status since this condition seemed to have influenced her on just about every level of her well-being.
Believe & Receive
Fortunately the story does not end here. What we see is that spiritually this lady was a giant in the faith. This lady, despite her suffering never gave up, and when she heard about Jesus she stirred up her faith to receive her miracle. She acted on her belief and the Word teaches us that her faith healed her. The Word tells us that her act of faith unlocked her healing.
Although God is our Healer, we cannot please God without faith. There are numerous stories in the Bible where faith unlocked the healing of the Healer in our lives. I believe that these heroes of the faith all believed in God’s goodness and ability to heal them over and above their physical constraints.
Personally when I face challenges I know that my biggest job is to stir up my faith. I think that one of the greatest challenges is to remain in the faith when all appears glim. The story of touching His hem is therefore an extra encouragement not to give up. Contrary to hope, after seeing many doctor’s with what appeared to be an incurable condition, she believed, and God healed her.
This lady took all her courage and went against the laws of those days to pursue her healing. Ladies with their monthly cycles were considered unclean. Nevertheless she did not consider the laws and judgement of men, but overcame her fears and acted accordingly.
Everyone will go through various trials and tribulations where we feel desperate for break-throughs. This lady acted in faith against all odds and reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment. She knew that by touching the hem of His garment she would receive her healing. She pressed through the crowds and reached out.
Even though the crowds were pressing in on Jesus, He asked who had touched Him. Why did He ask this? In spite of the crowds pressing in, Jesus felt that someone touched Him with faith. He felt that power had gone out from Him and told the lady that her faith had made her well. She received instant healing because of her faith.
“”Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.”” And the woman was healed at that moment (Matt 9:22, NIV).
When we reach out to God in faith, we please Him. We cannot please God without faith. Heb 11:6 says: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
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