Grabbing the Hem of Christ

Think about your pursuit of Jesus Christ. How intense is it? If one were to peer into your heart, would they see a raging flame or a smoldering wick; would they see a zealous pot of boiling water or a lukewarm one? The Lord has been telling me more and more lately to be more zealous of Him; to increase and abound in hot passion for His glorious Name.

Consider an account from the gospels. Of the woman with an issue of blood, who was so zealous and unashamed in her pursuit of Christ that she disobeyed custom and rule. She dared to violently seek Christ’s hem in faith.

"And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment. For she said, If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole. And straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague." [Mk 5:25-29]

Luke specifies more on the garment,

"And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years...came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment..." [Lk 8:43-44]

The account of this woman is remarkable. She was unabashedly “violent” in her pursuit of Jesus. From Leviticus 15 we know that she was technically unclean because of this disease and was legally not able to mingle within the camp. But she doesn’t care! She pushes through a massive throng, defiling everyone along the way, until she reaches forth and grabs hold of Jesus’ hem! That’s more significant than we might realize at first. The hem was a symbol of religious weight. The Pharisees would even make theirs very long to appear more righteous or holy. The hem was a symbol of status and authority. It was not just a casual piece of clothing. When she touched Jesus’ hem she was taking hold of, in effect, the religious/authoritative status of The Son of Man!

God commanded it in Numbers, saying,

"Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of The LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring." [Num 15:38-39]

The word “borders” is found also in Malachi 4:2. It is the word “wings,”

"But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall."


What a glorious picture of Jesus and this woman, and of us! Like the woman, we must aggressively, no, violently pursue Jesus in prayer. Push through whatever is thronging around you and get to Jesus! Believe and trust in Christ so greatly that you will die if you do not get to Him! Cast off all worry, doubt, and fear, and come to Jesus Christ; take hold of His hem!

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