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“After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.”
— John 9:6
Touch plays a powerful role in our lives. From the moment we are born, we thrive on touch. We long to be cuddled, rocked, and held. When that does not occur, children have a hard time forming attachments.
But touch goes beyond the creation of relationships. We use it in every aspect of our lives. When someone does something wonderful, we do not hesitate to pat them on the back or offer a handshake in celebration. If someone is hurting, we put our arms around them in a hug to offer comfort. We even caution against touch if something is fragile enough to be broken.
Jesus understood the power of touch. He was the Son of God and could have chosen to heal people in any way possible; yet, most of the time, He used touch. When He restored the man’s eyesight, He used his hands. After a Roman servant’s ear was cut off by Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus touched the man’s ear to heal it. And when Thomas doubted Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus did not simply show the man His hands; He allowed him to touch them as well. There are over twenty examples in the four Gospels of Jesus using the restorative power of touch.
As His followers, we are called to be His hands and feet. Our touch does not simply fulfill a human need, but a spiritual one as well.