Matthew 17:7, “But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Rise, and have no fear.’”
“Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch others; we shouldn’t be either!”
Jesus had just taken Peter, James and John up on a mountain where he was miraculously transformed before their eyes. God revealed his deity, his true glory, before them. Then the voice of God was heard, terrifying the three disciples, who fell to the ground in fear. In that moment, Jesus reached out to them with a reassuring touch, followed by the words, “Do not be afraid.”
The power of a touch in a moment of fear and uncertainty can bring much needed comfort. That same touch can also restore the confidence needed to stand again and face life. Jesus knew that. His touch of the disciples was not only proof that he was real, but that they were his friends and he cared deeply for them.
All too often we encounter people who, like the disciples, are in a moment of great anxiety and fear. Instead of standing aloof, why not follow Jesus’ example by reaching out and giving that person a reassuring touch? Let them know with a hand on the shoulder that they matter and are not alone.
Listen carefully to people who are in your circle of life. If you detect fear and anxiety, make a concerted effort to extend a hand of confidence and let them know that you care. And, as God brings them to mind, pray that they will also experience God’s comforting touch.
Dear God, open my eyes and ears today to the people around me who need a reassuring touch. In Jesus’ name, Amen.