I’ve been pretty quiet since July, not purposely, simply because a number of things have been happening that have required a great deal of focus and most of all a lot of eating of the true bread!
But this week things have settled a little, and I’ve had a phrase in mind, “Jesus must be touchable.” Now that’s perhaps not great English, but it makes sense to me, and maybe it will make sense to you by the end of this.
Two accounts of people touching Jesus have been on my mind. The first is the woman who pushed through the crowd and touched just the hem of his clothing. It was enough, and she was healed.
The second is Thomas, who says he won’t believe that Jesus is alive unless he sees the wounds on Jesus, and places his finger and hand in the wounds.
John, in his first letter, says this
“That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we did behold, and our hands did handle, concerning the Word of the Life”
Jesus made himself touchable. Another word might be accessible. He was there to be touched by the woman pushing through the crowd.
He was there to be touched by lepers who needed a touch. And by the woman anointing his feet.
And, finally, by Thomas.
Jesus was completely touchable. This is how we should be, if in fact he is within us. I have been asking myself whether I am touchable, whether I allow people to touch Jesus in me, or whether I am guarded and withhold him from others.
You see, people touched Jesus in so many ways. The woman who pushed through the crowd, she was desperate. She had nothing else, she needed the Life within Jesus to be healed. She knew what she had to do. And Jesus was touchable.
The lepers, well, they were rejected by society as unclean, separated and isolated from others. Jesus was touchable. He made a connection with them that they had lost.
The woman who anointed Jesus feet? She was looking for love, for pure, perfect love. She found that in Jesus, and Jesus was touchable. He enabled her to love as she was created to love.
And Thomas? Well, at the time when Thomas needed to touch Jesus, Jesus was touchable. And Jesus makes himself touchable to confront Thomas doubts and fears. He says, “Put your finger here, and put your hand here. Confront your doubts and your fears. Touch me, and live without them.” Sometimes Jesus is touchable in uncomfortable ways for us, but it benefits us to trust him.
And Jesus makes himself touchable to us in all those ways and more, and then asks us to be touchable to others, so that he, in us, can continue to be touched by those in need.
Let us be touchable by others.
Eat the True Bread, drink the Living Water. Let Jesus in us be accessible to all.