Touching Faith With Jesus by Rev. Hiro

The human body has five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling. We live with the function of these five senses. In the same way, faith has the five spiritual senses as our body has them. Out of them let me share about spiritual touching of faith shared at Nichigo worship service. The biblical text is the story of “a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years” (Luke 8:43).

In the days of the New Testament and the Old Testament periods, the people had no medical benefits like us
today. What the ordinary people could do was the isolation from diseases and washing out of impurities.
“Don’t touch it. If you touch it, you will be polluted and become unclean.” Such strict rules protected the people
from infectious and contagious diseases. You can read it in the Old Testament, especially in the Book of
Leviticus. In the Jewish society a woman who appeared in the story shouldn’t and couldn’t approach the mass
of the people. She herself knew it, yet she couldn’t help it. She seemed to ignore the Jewish scriptures and
subsequent traditions.

But the woman desperately needed to seize the chance of healing and came up and stretched her hand and
touched Jesus. Immediately, Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” Peter responded to him, “Master, the crowds
surround you and press in on you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone
out from me.” Jesus was polluted by her disease, however, at this point her “uncleanness” didn’t infect Jesus.
Rather, something like his life, power, and health in him infected her. This woman received more than healing,
the healing of her mind, heart and body as the whole person. This is the biblical salvation.
How can we touch Jesus who is untouchable? I will show you three ways:

1. We could touch Jesus by having a conversation with Him.
Conversation consists of hearing and speaking. a) Hearing Jesus is to read (hearing) the Old Testament
which Jesus truly believed (Matthew 5:17-19; Luke 24:27) and to read the New Testament which Jesus and
his apostles spoke and did. Don’t say, “I want to hear Jesus’ direct voice.” Notice that it is the objective and
unchanging words of the Bible that we are able to understand accurately and exactly what Jesus said to us.
b) Speaking to Jesus is to talk to Jesus through prayer. We could touch Jesus by the means of grace, reading
scriptures and by prayer.

2. We could touch Jesus by having a fellowship with the brothers and sisters who are the body of Christ.
After Jesus completed his earthly ministry, he chose his followers/disciples as his visible and tangible
presence through which he continued to do his ministry (Acts 1:1). This is precisely the reason why the
apostle Paul stresses that the Church is the body of Christ. By having a conversation with the brothers
and sisters in Christ, learning the scriptures together, worshiping collectively, sharing with each other,
outreaching to people for Christ, we could touch Jesus.

3. We could touch Jesus by the inner work of the Holy Spirit.
While Jesus was in Palestine, he was very limited by time and space. But before his resurrection and
ascension, Jesus told his disciple, “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go
away, the Advocate (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). After
his resurrection and ascension, the earthly Jesus became the eternal and immanent Jesus who poured out the
Holy Spirit on his disciples (Acts 2:32-33). By the presence of the Spirit, the eternal Christ who lived once
on this earth, is with us beyond time and space. Paul referred to the eternal and existential Jesus, saying
“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)

Jesus welcomes our trembling touch and responds, “Don’t be afraid. Come, touch me and get my life, power,
love, purity and health in you.”

Hiro, Nichigo Pastor