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The Ministry of Healing

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    Chapter 4—The Touch of Faith

    “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.” Matthew 9:21. It was a poor woman who spoke these words—a woman who for twelve years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent all her means upon physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable. But as she heard of the Great Healer, her hopes revived. She thought, “If only I could get near enough to speak to Him, I might be healed.”MH 59.1

    Christ was on His way to the home of Jairus, the Jewish rabbi who had entreated Him to come and heal his daughter. The heartbroken petition, “My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray Thee, come and lay Thy hands on her, that she may be healed” (Mark 5:23), had touched the tender, sympathetic heart of Christ, and He at once set out with the ruler for his home.MH 59.2

    They advanced but slowly; for the crowd pressed Christ on every side. In making His way through the multitude, the Saviour came near to where the afflicted woman was standing. Again and again she had tried in vain to get near Him. Now her opportunity had come. She could see no way of speaking to Him. She would not seek to hinder His slow advance. But she had heard that healing came from a touch of His garments; and, fearful of losing her one chance for relief, she pressed forward, saying to herself, “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.”MH 59.3

    Christ knew every thought of her mind, and He was making His way to where she stood. He realized her great need, and He was helping her to exercise faith.MH 60.1

    As He was passing, she reached forward and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. That moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness disappeared. Instantly she felt the thrill as of an electric current passing through every fiber of her being. There came over her a sensation of perfect health. “She felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” Verse 29.MH 60.2

    The grateful woman desired to express her thanks to the Mighty Healer, who had done more for her in one touch than the physicians had done in twelve long years; but she dared not. With a grateful heart she tried to withdraw from the crowd. Suddenly Jesus stopped, and looking round He asked, “Who touched Me?”MH 60.3

    Looking at Him in amazement, Peter answered, “Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?” Luke 8:45.MH 60.4

    “Somebody hath touched Me,” Jesus said; “for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.” Verse 46. He could distinguish the touch of faith from the casual touch of the careless throng. Someone had touched Him with a deep purpose and had received answer.MH 60.5

    Christ did not ask the question for His own information. He had a lesson for the people, for His disciples, and for the woman. He wished to inspire the afflicted with hope. He wished to show that it was faith which had brought the healing power. The woman's trust must not be passed by without comment. God must be glorified by her grateful confession. Christ desired her to understand that He approved her act of faith. He would not have her depart with a half blessing only. She was not to remain in ignorance of His knowledge of her suffering, or of His compassionate love and of His approval of her faith in His power to save to the uttermost all who come to Him.MH 60.6

    Looking toward the woman, Christ insisted on knowing who had touched Him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward trembling, and cast herself at His feet. With grateful tears she told Him, before all the people, why she had touched His garment, and how she had been immediately healed. She feared that her act in touching His garment had been one of presumption; but no word of censure came from Christ's lips. He spoke only words of approval. They came from a heart of love, filled with sympathy for human woe. “Daughter,” He said gently, “be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” Verse 48. How cheering were these words to her. Now no fear that she had given offense embittered her joy.MH 61.1

    To the curious crowd pressing about Jesus there was imparted no vital power. But the suffering woman who touched Him in faith received healing. So in spiritual things does the casual contact differ from the touch of faith. To believe in Christ merely as the Saviour of the world can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere assent to the truth of the gospel. True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour. God gave His only-begotten Son, that I, by believing in Him, “should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. When I come to Christ, according to His word, I am to believe that I receive His saving grace. The life that I now live, I am to “live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.MH 62.1

    Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which, through the grace of Christ, the soul becomes a conquering power.MH 62.2

    Faith is a mightier conqueror than death. If the sick can be led to fix their eyes in faith upon the Mighty Healer, we shall see wonderful results. It will bring life to the body and to the soul.MH 62.3

    In working for the victims of evil habits, instead of pointing them to the despair and ruin toward which they are hastening, turn their eyes away to Jesus. Fix them upon the glories of the heavenly. This will do more for the saving of body and soul than will all the terrors of the grave when kept before the helpless and apparently hopeless.MH 62.4

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