If I can just touch His hem…if I can just touch His hem…
Here she was, in the midst of a multitude of people, a place the Law forbade her to be. Why was she there?
For twelve long years, she suffered with a condition, a hemorrhage of blood, one that the doctors could not cure. She spent all her money on their lack of knowledge. Ostracized and considered unclean, she had been depleted of everything – physically, financially, relationally, and probably emotionally.
This day, the rumor spread quickly throughout the local grapevine that Jesus had just arrived. And He was coming her way, within her reach.
She knew the Scriptures. She clung to them in faith, knowing this was her chance to touch the Man of God Who healed.
She knew Jehovah-rapha from such scriptures as “I am Jehovah your healer” (Ex. 15:26 Masoretic Text), and “But to you who fear My name, the Sun of righteousness shall rise up and healing will be on His wings.” (Mal. 4:2 Mas Text)
(Wings in Hebrew also means an extremity, an edge, a border, a skirt, or a corner of a garment.)
She knew the prophecies of the Messiah, and, now, here was this Man called Yeshua, as the fulfillment of all the Scriptures. And “She said within herself, If only I shall touch His robe, I will be cured.” (Matt. 9:21 Received Greek Text)
She went into the streets searching for Him and found Him surrounded by a mob of people. Others in the crowd pressed into Jesus’ presence with their flesh, but this woman pressed into His presence with her faith.
Many images and sermons suggest that the woman crawled in the dirt to touch Jesus’ hem, but if she had, she would have been trampled. I wanted to title this: She Did Not Crawl in the Dirt!
People sometimes forget Jesus was Jewish and that He would have been following His Jewish heritage by wearing His traditional tallit or prayer shawl. According to the Code of Jewish Law, “Severe is the punishment of the one who neglects the performance of the Divine Command in putting on the tzitzit.”
The Hebrew word for fringe is tsiytsith or tzitzit. It also means a wing-like projection, a tassel, etc. The hem on the tallit was/is not as we know hems today. It was/is not just the end of the fabric turned under and stitched in place. The Greek word for fringe is kraspedon, which is translated hem and means tassel, border, edge, skirt, etc.
God commanded the Israelites to tie the fringes or tassels, in such a way on the corners of their garments, that they would look upon them to remember all the commandments.
A tallit was/is treated with extreme respect; therefore, Jesus’ tallit would not have been dragging in the dirt. That would have been a disgrace.
Trembling, the woman “came near, behind Him, and touched the fringe of His robe” (Matt. 9:20 RGT), grasping the fringe of Jesus’ garment. Immediately, Jesus stopped in His tracks, halted by a release of His power from her grasp of faith.
Jesus turned to her and said, “Be comforted daughter; your faith has healed you. And the woman was healed from that hour.” (Matt. 9:22 RGT)
The healing in His wings, in His fringe? In the making of the tallit, there were/are 39 windings of the fringe. Every winding, every knot, in the making of the tallit has a meaning and a purpose. Jesus received 39 lashings of the Roman whip for our affliction, for our healing! “And by His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53:5 NKJV)
When we realize the significance of the concept of the fringe to the early Hebraic mind, it becomes evident why this woman was instantly healed.
When health disintegrates, when money dissipates, when friends disappear, when the church and family disown you, what’s left? The source of all needs is Jesus and clinging to the fringe of His garment. Jesus still comes today, in your direction, within your reach. He is passing by you today.
Will you be a part of the crowd, just brushing up against Him? Or will you seek Him in the midst of all that’s going on around you? Will your faith press into His presence for all you need, to touch Him, to be made whole?
What would happen if you touched His hem?
*This is a remix of an earlier post.
**Notice: I’m still working on switching my email/post carrier.