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“Will God indeed dwell on the earth?” —1 Kgs. 8:27

Invitation to the Word
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Ada Middleton
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Louisville, KY 40202

Human touch

Scripture Passage: Matthew 8:15   

“He touched her hand, and the fever left her.”

The Gospels tell us that Jesus had the power to heal, even from afar.  Given that, it is remarkable how often healing stories involve touch.  Jesus regularly reached out his hand and touched the one needing to be healed, a gesture that simultaneously communicated his divine power and his deep humanity.  In Matthew 8 we see Jesus healing.  In the case of the Centurion’s son Jesus heals from afar, but in the case of Peter’s mother-in-law, we witness the poignant, intimate scene:  “When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him.”

We are blessed to live in a time when technology affords us contact with people across space.   These amazing developments allow us to communicate with loved ones, fellow Christians, colleagues, and interesting acquaintances across the globe. In the midst of all this communication, we must remember to touch people.  Virtual contact can be a gift, but real, human touch is at the heart of ministry.

Read healing stories in all four Gospels, reflecting on the ways that Jesus encountered those that came to him for healing.


Study Matthew 8.  Compare the different healing stories in this passage.  What do these different stories tell us about the character of Jesus and the nature of his ministry?  Even while Jesus is healing those in need, his demonstrations of power bring fear to those who are nearby (see vv. 27 and 34).  Why would Jesus’ healing and works of power bring fear in some.

Memorize Psalm 6, a ten verse Psalm crying out for the healing touch of God:  “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.”

Take a look at the outreach ministries in your congregation and consider those that could be enhanced with a better application of technology.  Can you help facilitate helpful changes?  At the same time, consider ways that you might be engaged and physically touch those in need.

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