Reach Out and Touch Someone
The famous Michelangelo painting on the Sistine Chapel shows the Creator touching His finger to Adamís finger, giving him the spark of life. There is tremendous significance to the physical act of touching someone. The Savior touched many people out of compassion, and healed them. Today with the electronic marvel of telecommunications, we can touch someone across the country, and across the world. How many people do we lovingly touch today?
In the New Testament, the Greek word for "touch" is haptomai, Strongís #680, which means "to attach oneself to."
People Wanted To Touch Savior
People realized that the Master was their Healer. They wanted to touch Him and be healed. The woman with an issue of blood merely wanted to touch His garment. She knew she would be healed if she did, Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48. Virtue, spiritual power, went out of Jesus when she was healed.
The men of Gennesaret gathered up the sick to be touched and healed by the Great Physician, Matthew 14:34-36. People pressed upon Him to touch Him in order to be healed of their plagues, Mark 3:10, Luke 6:19. As many as touched Him were made whole, Mark 6:56. A blind man wanted the Savior to touch him so that he would receive his sight, Mark 8:22-26. Parents wanted Jesus to touch their young children, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15.
Jesus Wanted to Touch People
Out of compassion, Jesus touched an "untouchable" leper and healed him, Matthew 8:1-3, Mark 1:40-42, Luke 5:12-13. Jesus touched Peterís wifeís mother, and her fever left her, Matthew 8:14-15. Compassion again was His motive when He touched and healed two blind men, Matthew 9:27-29, 20:30-34. Jesus touched his fearful disciples to comfort them, Matthew 17:5-8. He touched the tongue of a deaf man with a speech impediment and cured him, Mark 7:32-35. The Master touched the coffin of a young man, who arose, Luke 7:11-16. And in one of His last miracles during His earthly ministry, Jesus touched the high priestís servantís ear which Peter had lopped off, restoring it whole, Luke 22:50-51.
Satan Doesnít Want You to Touch Others; He Wants to Touch You!
Ascetics try to get you to touch not, taste not, and follow other commandments of men, Colossians 2:20-23. In other words, be a spiritual hermit. Many today are following this evil path.
The Pharisees wouldnít "touch" so-called "sinners," yet they wouldnít serve others either! Luke 7:36-50.
If we do not love our spiritual brothers by having fellowship with them and serving their needs, then we are not of God, and Satan can get hold of ó touch ó us, I John entire epistle, including 5:18.
Sometimes it is good not to touch a woman (have sexual relations in a proper marriage), I Corinthians 7:1. God wants us to be separate from unbelievers and idolatry. "Touch not the unclean thing," II Corinthians 6:14-18.
Fellowship Is Touching Others
A major way we are called to touch others, especially those of the household of faith, is to have fellowship with them. And yet today there are many who shirk this God-given responsibility. In one form or another, they hold back from reaching out and touching someone else.
Here are a few examples of how some donít touch others like they should. There are "proud" people who wonít come to the annual Sabbath feasts, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Pentecost and Feast of Tabernacles because they say they donít have enough second tithe to travel to meet with others of like faith. Yet often they will not make their needs known, nor will they accept gifts from others who have excess funds. They withdraw themselves for unscriptural reasons.
Then there are those who wonít communicate with their brethren. A first class letter and long distance telephone call are very inexpensive, yet some people wonít write or call a spiritual brother as often as they should, or even at all. They are seldom "in the mood" to communicate with others.
Fellowship is NOT Optional
Once a person is called in the spiritual brotherhood of the Messiah, the Church, fellowship with other spiritual brothers is definitely not an option. Fellowship is a command from the Eternal!
Yet across the world, many professed true believers are holding back from touching others. They are ignoring scriptures that cannot be misinterpreted.
"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His name," Malachi 3:16.
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke [inspire, encourage] unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: And so much the more, as ye see the day approaching," Hebrews 10:23-25.
Fellowship is not an optional choice. It is a requirement for every follower of the Eternal. Fellowship is "the right choice."
Reach Out and Touch Someone
How can the isolated believer fulfill the scriptural requirement for fellowship with others of like faith? Today it is very easy. Write a letter or call others. Communication marvels are inexpensive and easy to use. We should use them to touch others in a positive way.
In the 1980s, the telephone system in the United States was forced to become competitive through government deregulation. American Telephone & Telegraph (AT&T, or "Ma Bell") lost its monopoly on long distance telephone service. MCI, Sprint and other new companies now compete with AT&T for long distance service. Competition has resulted in lower long distance rates. It is a paradox that it is cheaper to call an hour of long distance each month than it costs for local telephone service!
International telephone calls during non-prime time are surprisingly inexpensive. Imagine our thrill one morning to receive a call from a friend in Tasmania, Australia!
If you canít afford even these nominal amounts, and want us to call you, please let us know. Saturday afternoon and evening is the best time to call us. We would love to hear from you. Use the electronic wonder of the telephone to keep in contact with your brethren. Write inexpensive letters. Reach out and touch someone. You will be fulfilling the instructions of the Almighty. You will be blessed yourself and be a blessing to others.
Call us at 307-686-5191. The best time is Friday night or Sabbath.
ó written by Richard C. NickelsW
This article was originally published as Bible Study No. 112.