Bag It Yourself?
[Jesus] touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God! (v.13).
A few years back, do-it-yourself checkout at US grocery stores was in vogue—but not these days. There’s been a noticeable decline in the usage of the self-serve lanes—down to just 16 percent of all supermarket transactions from a high of 22 percent 3 years ago.
Why? It appears that people enjoy their shopping experience much more when they can have a living, breathing human cashier assist them. Using a price-scanning machine themselves just doesn’t cut it. One shopper said, “[Having a cashier is] just more interactive. You get someone who says hello; you get a person to talk to if there’s a problem.”
Jesus showed that human touch is vital as He ministered on earth. When He was healing people, He would often physically touch them. For example, there was the leper and a woman with a fever in Matthew 8, the woman with the bleeding issue and the two blind men in Matthew 9, the deaf man in Mark 7, and the man with swollen limbs in Luke 14.
One dramatic healing in which Jesus used “touch” occurred on a Sabbath day (Luke 13:10). Jesus came upon a woman “who had been crippled by an evil spirit” (v.11). She was in bad shape, “bent double for eighteen years” (v.11). Sure, He could have simply used words to heal her as He did with others. Instead, “He touched her” and she was healed instantly. The result? “She praised God!” (v.13).
There is something special about human touch. We might possess plenty of words of encouragement for those around us and even write out a check from time to time to help those in need. But when we extend a helping hand and physically assist those in need, we imitate the compassion and love of Jesus. It’s something that might even result in their praising God!
Read Luke 22:50 and note the healing touch Jesus used even as He was being threatened.
How have you seen the power of touch reveal God’s love? How is physical touch something profound when you consider that we’ve been made in God’s image and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit?