Andy Hollifield 6-24-18
Mark 8:25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored and saw every man clearly.
I mentioned this verse recently and when I did it got me to thinking about that second touch. I have often been confused by this scripture as to why Jesus had to touch him twice. We know that he could have healed him completely the first time. Since it wasn’t a shortcoming on Jesus’ part, I have come to the conclusion that the man he healed in this verse may have just needed a little extra touch from the Lord. He also got to spend a little extra time with the Lord. In verse 23, Jesus led this blind man out of town before he treated his condition. I wonder what their conversation was as they walked. In Mark 7 we find the story of a man who was deaf and dumb. In this instance Jesus may have touched him twice but it was because he was healing two things at once. Just as in Mark 8, Jesus again took him aside from the multitude before he did anything.
I began to think about the touch of Jesus. The bible speaks directly about six times that Jesus touched someone. There was another nine or ten times that someone touched him. These were just the ones using the word “touched.” I know there are several more times when Jesus took someone’s hand or some other word was used for touching. There were also several times in the Old Testament where God touched folks. In Genesis 32, Jacob was touched in the hollow of his thigh by a man he wrestled all night with. Can you imagine what that must have been like? Every step he took for the rest of his life reminded him of the night that God had blessed him. In 1 Samuel 10, Saul went home to Gibeah after being chosen as king by God and anointed by Samuel. It also says that a band of men whose hearts the Lord has touched went with him. In 1 Kings 19 we find Elijah napping under a Juniper tree when an angel touched him and told him to “rise and eat.” The angel came back later and touched him and woke him up again to eat.
There was even one time in 2 Kings 13:21 when the Spirit of God was still so strong upon the life of Elisha, that a dead man was let down in the cave where Elisha’s bones were, that when the man touched Elisha’s bones he revived and joined the rest of his company. Job asked for pity from his friends in Job 19:21 saying the cause of his problems was that the hand of the Lord had touched him. One of the most famous scriptures about a touch from the Lord is in the first eight verses of Isaiah 6. Verse seven talks about a seraphim taking a live coal off of the altar and touched it to Isaiah’s lips and telling him because of that his iniquity was taken away and his sin purged. In Jeremiah 1:9 the Lord put forth his hand and touched Jeremiah’s mouth putting words in it. In the book of Daniel chapters 8,9, and 10, is touched 5 times by either Gabriel or another angel.
There are nine times that the first three gospels record Jesus touching someone. There are eleven times mention when someone touched Jesus and were healed. The woman with the issue of blood accounts for several of those mentions. Matthew 14:36 declares that “as many as touched were made perfectly whole. Jesus told his disciples that he could tell when he was touched because virtue went out of him. The only time that Jesus told anyone not to touch him was after he had risen but not yet ascended. A week later, he invited Thomas to touch him because he hadn’t believed when told of the resurrection and said he would not believe unless he touched him.
If he told Mary not to touch him but invited Thomas to touch him on the eighth day after he had risen and had even appeared to his disciples the evening of the resurrection, he must have ascended between morning and evening and presented his blood on the mercy seat securing forgiveness for “whosoever will.” Aren’t you glad that the invitation he extended to Thomas is still extended to us? I am thankful that we can still touch him. But, I am even more thankful that he still touches us. sometimes we may get so weak and discouraged that we can’t reach out to touch him but he doesn’t get weak and in those times especially, will reach down his hand to touch us if we will only ask him to.
There have been many times throughout my life that I have needed a touch from the Lord. Sometimes it has been a healing touch and other times the comforting touch of a father. Other times I have been touched by the Lord and afflicted because of unrepented sin. I am thankful on those dark nights when it seems all hope is gone and I am about to go under for the last time, just like Peter walking on the sea he immediately catches me and saves me and I get to walk with him. As it says in Solomon 2:6 “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.” Psalms 18 says “thy right hand hath holden me up.” Chapter 63 verse 8 says “thy right hand upholdeth me.” Psalms 73:22 and 23 says “So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. (23) Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thous hast holden me by my right hand.”
I am glad that we aren’t limited to just one touch from the Lord. I need his touch every time I stand to preach and don’t want to stand without it. I need his touch every day and am thankful that speaking of us in John 10:28-29 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” I am not only thankful for all of his touches, but even more thankful that I am always kept safe in his hand. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 6-24-18