'Neath a load of guilt and shame.
Then the hand of Jesus touched me,
And now I am no longer the same.
He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know,
He touched me and made me whole.
Scientists say that we’re born with a great need for touch. We know that premature babies given periods of touch therapy gain weight faster, cry less, and show more signs of relaxed pulse, respiration rate and muscle tension. Most children instinctively initiate and seek out touch when they need it. But it’s not only children who need a reassuring touch; adults do too, whether it be a hug, a simple squeeze on the shoulder or the touch of a caring hand on yours. And of course, the sense of touch opened up a whole world of communication for Helen Keller, through the hand signals of her determined teacher, Anne Sullivan.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus touched many people physically. He asked that children be brought to Him, as described in Matthew 19:13-14:
“Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there.”
In Mark 7:32, people implored him to touch their disabled friend: “There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.” Jesus proceeded to use touch as He opened the man’s ears and loosed His tongue.
He touched many other people who needed healing, even those who were considered unclean. He communicated care and compassion to the leper mentioned in Matthew 8 by touching and healing him, and he raised Jairus’daughter from the dead in Mark 5, touching her hand during the healing process. Jesus showed no fear or revulsion from touching “unclean” people.
Even greater than our physical need for touch is our spiritual need to be touched by the One who still offers healing, forgiveness and wholeness. As seen in the lyrics above, this need is beautifully expressed in one of the Gaithers' best-loved songs, "He Touched Me."Jesus is still touching all of us today, through divine communication. He touches lost sinners with the call of the Holy Spirit and the Gospel message. After we are saved, He continues to touch us through His Word, through caring gestures from other believers and in many other ways. No one is too sick or too unclean for Him to touch. Not you, not your family, not the worst sinner you may know. As we allow Him to transform our lives, let’s remember to encourage those around us who may need a reassuring touch. An outstretched hand or a hug can go a long way. And may you feel the Savior’s caring touch today, and every day!