Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Healing Touch

10 Minute Daily Retreat (no. 4)
By Lyn Churchyard
Each writer has been asked to introduce themselves by sharing one of their favorite scriptures. Today we hear from Lyn Churchyard.

One of my absolutely favorite "stories" in the Bible is the one about the woman with the issue of blood.
(Matthew 9:20-22) She had been ritually unclean for twelve years with niddah (menstrual) uncleanness. Anything or anyone she touched, or who touched her, would be unclean until sunset.

After twelve years of bleeding, she would have been anaemic, yet she showed enormous courage, and even in her weakened state, pushed her way through the crowd to reach Jesus on His way to Jairus' house.

 "If I could just touch the hem of his garment, I'll be healed." (Matthew 9:21)


It wasn't just the hem of Jesus' robe, it was the fringe of His prayer shawl. A Jewish man would touch the fringe as he prayed - it wasn't just for decoration, but had significant meaning.

The numerical value of the word tzitzit (fringes) is 600. Each of the fringes contain 8 threads and 5 knots, making a total of 613. This number corresponds to the 613 commandments contained in the Torah.

The fringes of the tallit (prayer shawl) not only reminds a Jew of the 613 divine commandments, and the central doctrine that the LORD is one.

It also reminds them of what Psalm 104:2 says, "The LORD wraps Himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent."


In fact, the word tallit means "little tent." By touching the fringe of Jesus' prayer shawl, she was calling on the healing power of God. Jesus knew someone had touched His prayer shawl, because healing power had gone out from Him.
When confronted, she fell on her face before Him and confessed all. Jesus' response?

"Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction." (Matthew 19:22)
Could anything be more wonderful than hearing the King of Glory say that to you?

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Lyn Churchyard

      Next Reflection: Colin Sutton