His Garment (2)
With thanks to Gus Nichols - Luke 8:42-48
By Paul Robison

 

Someone made a statement similar to this: “Jesus says in Revelation 21:5, 'Behold, I make all things new.' ... Everything that Jesus Christ touched, he utterly transformed. ... He alone is able to accomplish what no one else in the universe can, and, based on His death as the Lamb and His resurrection as the Savior, He recovers what was lost ...” (J. H. Keathley III).  Let's read our text once again in Luca 8:42-48: “But as He went, the multitude thronged Him.  Now a woman, having a flow of blood for 12 years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of his garment.  And immediately, her flow of blood stopped.  And Jesus said: 'Who touched Me?'  When all denied it, Peter and those with him said: 'Master, the multitudes throng and presses you, and You say: “Who touched Me?”  But Jesus said, 'Someone touched Me for I perceived power going out from Me.'  Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.  And He said to her, 'Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.'”
 
“The fact that miracles like this were of great benefit to those upon whom they were wrought may at first appear to be the main reason for their occurrence.  However, such is not the case.  The apostle John says in John 20:30-31: 'And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ [or Messiah], the Son of God, and that believing, you may have life in His name.'   These signs and miracles were performed and recorded in the New Testament for the purpose of confirming the [Gospel and pointing lost people to Jesus so that they could see His power.  In fact, we see from our text] that virtue or power flowed out from Jesus though His garment to cure the woman the very moment that she touched it.  She said, 'If I only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well' (Matthew 9:21).  Then she touched that garment, and Jesus later told her: 'Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well.'   As we noted in a previous sermon, touching the hem of some other garment would not have brought the blessing of healing to her.  Of course, the power was not in the garment apart from the Lord” (Nichols).  We have already seen how there is power in Jesus' things—in His name, in His blood, in His church, in His day, and in His salvation.  In this sermon, let's continue to look at some more powerful things associated with Jesus which He has to offer.
 
Let's notice a series of passages.  When Jesus was 12 years old, His parents took Him to the great temple in Jerusalem.  You recall how He stayed there, and three days later, His parents found Him.  Notice these words in Luke 2:47: “And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.”  This astonishment continued.  After Jesus presented His Sermon on the Mount, Matthew reports in 7:28: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”  Now look at Matthew 13:54: “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said: 'Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?'”  After Jesus was teaching the Sadducees, Matthew 22:33 reports: “And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.”  After Jesus taught another, Mark 10:24 states: “And the disciples were astonished at His words.”  Time after time, from His youth and throughout His ministry, Jesus' teachings astonished the Jews.  Why do they no longer astonish us?  Now listen to what Jesus says in two other places.  The first is John 7:16-17: “Jesus answered them [His Jewish listeners] and said: 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.'”  Notice here that Jesus claims that His teachings are not His own opinions, but He teaches what God has revealed to Him!  You see, we should be astonished at Jesus' teachings too because God is their Source.  Jesus' words are not those of a just a wise Person, they are words which state God's will and truth.  This revelation makes His teaching or His doctrine unique from that of all other religious teachers.  His words are God's divine teachings for mankind.  The second passage is Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'”  God has given Jesus the kingship over both heaven and earth.  Because God has honored Jesus, we are to teach others His Gospel so that they can become His disciples, and then we are to teach His disciples all His doctrine.  When the woman touched His garment, she was made well!  When people “touch” Jesus' teaching, they can be made spiritually well!  As we see in this passage, Jesus told His apostles to continue His teaching.  Did this happen in the early church?  Listen to a few more passages: Acts 2:42 states: “And they [the Christians in Jerusalem] continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine [and the apostles' teaching was Jesus' doctrine] and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”  Paul exhorts in Romans 16:17: “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.”  1 Timothy 4:1 warns: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”  2 Timothy 4:3 declares: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”  Hebrews 13:9 admonishes: “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines.”  These passages show that the apostles' doctrine was superior to all other doctrines, and members should avoid strange doctrines and teaching that they did not learn from Jesus and His apostles.  Sadly, false teachers did infiltrate the early church just as the Spirit had prophesied they would because they departed from the faith, and then they caused others to turn away from the truth.  Jesus' doctrine is also unique because it comes from a timeless God.  His and His apostles' teaching in the 1st century is just as relevant to us today in the 21st century because God's judgments and truths are applicable to all generations.  Peter told Jesus these words in John 6:68: “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  Only Jesus' teaching can bring about the result of eternal life.  Nobody else's teaching can do that.  Both His garment and His teaching are very unique!
 
“David said: 'For all Your commandments are righteousness' (Psalm 119:172).  It follows then, that to do righteousness is to do God's commandments.  John says, 'Little children, let no one deceive you.  He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He [that is Jesus] is righteous.'  Paul says that righteousness is revealed in the Gospel (Romans 1:16-17).  We are not made righteous, therefore, by the law of Moses.  Paul reasons in Galatians 2:21: 'I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.' ... Paul prayed that the Jews might be saved and then said in Romans 10:3: 'For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes'” (Nichols).  God now provides His righteousness to mankind through Jesus.  2 Corinthians 5:21 declares: “For He [God] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Through Jesus and His righteousness, we now are made righteous.  Jesus' garment brought the woman immediate physical healing, and Jesus' righteousness now brings us instant spiritual healing!  Paul explains this truth in Philippians 3:8-9: “Yet indeed I count all things loss [all worldly achievements] for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith ...”  “But there are certain things essential to righteousness, and without [them], no one can be righteous before God.  One of them is the love of righteousness.  A [Christian] can not live right while hating right living. ...The foundation of the whole matter is to fall in love with [Jesus and His righteousness, a righteousness that goes beyond that of the scribes and Pharisees, as His Sermon on the Mount explains], then we can be Christians in deed and in truth.  One can not be pure who does not in his heart love purity.  One who does not love virtue will not be able to be virtuous.  Those who do not love the truth are not likely going to learn it and [obey] it.  It was written of Jesus in Hebrews 1:9: 'You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.'  ... [Christians] can do right if they love to do right [just as Jesus loved righteousness].  Christians will not willfully practice evil-doing, if they hate evil, or if they, like Jesus, 'hate lawlessness'.  Most people hate rattlesnakes, and that is why they would not think of harboring them in their homes.  And those who learn to hate sin find it easier to live apart from it.  We do not usually do that which we hate to do.  Paul admonishes in Romans 12:9: 'Abhor what is evil.  Cling to what is good.'  [How we need to appreciate Jesus' righteousness and hate Satan's wickedness!  Brethren, don't you believe that we can quit any old bad habit if we will cease to love it?]  You can give up liquor, [boats], tobacco, or anything else which Christ would not have you to do, provided that you love righteousness” (Nichols).  Jesus' unique righteousness and His love for righteousness can make us righteous and help us to love His righteousness!  “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).
 
When Jesus came into this world, the angels were telling good news of great joy (Luke 2:10), and when Jesus left this world, the apostles returned to Jerusalem with great joy (Luke 24:52).  Look at John 15:11 where Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you [to the apostles], that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”  Jesus had a unique garment, and Jesus also offers a unique joy.  Why can it be called unique?  What makes it so different?  Look now at John 16:22: “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”  Jesus' crucifixion would bring sorrow to the apostles, but His resurrection would make them joyful.  Jesus' victory over death brings a joy to us that nobody can take from us!  Jesus is living right now, and this truth gives us a joyful assurance.  Jesus' joy is personal.  Now look Acts 20:24 where the apostle states: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Paul knew that he might put to death in Jerusalem.  His race could end there.  But did you notice how Paul was triumphant about that fact.  Why?  Because Jesus' joyful resurrection is the guarantee of our joyful defeat over death as well!  Paul saw the finish line as a joyful victory for both his life and his ministry.  Jesus' joy is victorious. 
Now consider 1 Peter 1:8-9: “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”  As Christians, we can rejoice in the long-range perspective.  We already know that after this world is over and Judgment Day is passed, we will reap the salvation of our souls!  Jesus' joy is lasting.  Now look at Romans 14:17: “... for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus' joy is to be experienced His church or God's kingdom.  Only by becoming a member in His church can you come to experience Jesus' personal, victorious, and lasting joy.  No other garment could bring such healing, and no other Person can bring such joy!
 
Look now at 2 Peter 1:4: “... by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  This passage states that some great promises have been made to us, and those promises have helped us to become partakers of the divine nature.  Who made those promises?  Jesus did.  What did He promise us?  Let's note three passages.  First, He promised to dwell Himself with us: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20).  Second, Jesus promises God's Spirit to dwell in us: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said: 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'  But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:38-39).  We see that the promise of the Holy Spirit's indwelling does become a realty on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38.  Third, Jesus promised His body of believers, known as the church or the one flock: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16).  Jesus' promises are unique.  In order to escape the world's corruption and be a part of God's divine nature, He promised us a close relationship with Himself, the Holy Spirit's indwelling in each of our lives, and His church, His people, His flock, where we can find strength and examples to help us live the Christian life.  Jesus has fulfilled these great promises, and Christians also look forward to Jesus' fulfilling His promises to come again, to take us to heaven, and to destroy all wickedness (John 14:1-3; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Peter 3:10-13)!  Jesus' offers unique promises.
 
At Duke University, did a study on “peace of mind” and found the following factors contributed greatly to emotional and mental stability:
1) absence of suspicion and resentment—Do you ever recall Jesus being suspicious or resentful?
2) not living in the past—Didn't Jesus teach us to keep plowing ahead (Luke 9:62)?
3) not wasting time and energy fighting conditions you cannot change—Didn't Jesus steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, knowing that He would die as God's Lamb (Luke 9:51)?
4) force yourself to stay involved with the living world—Wasn't Jesus involved in living for others until He drew His last breath (Luke 23:46)?
5) refuse to indulge in self-pity when others hand you a raw deal— Didn't Jesus pray that those who crucified Him would be forgiven (Luke 23:34)?
6) find something bigger than yourself to believe in—Doesn't Jesus challenge to love God first and love our neighbor next meet that factor (Matthew 22:37-40)? 
Long before Duke University ever came on the scene, Jesus said these words in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled; neither let it be afraid.”  Jesus' peace is unique because it unites races (Ephesians 2:14), it isn't dependent on circumstances (Phil. 4:7-9), and it helps to foster wisdom (James 3:17-18).  The apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:16: “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.  The Lord be with you all.”  Jesus' unique peace can get us through all of life's storms and all of Satan's attacks! 
 
Why be sinful and sickly?  Touching Jesus' unique garment can give you spiritual health.  Jesus offers unique teaching.  His doctrine is timely today because it is still God's will and truth for our lives.  Jesus' unique righteousness can make us live better and purer lives.  Jesus' unique joy, which is personal, victorious, and lasting, can be experienced in His one flock called the church.  Jesus' unique promises help us be partakers in God's divine nature.  Jesus' unique peace can help us through all our trials.  Let's stop listening to false teachers!  Let's love righteousness and hate evil!  Let's be done with earthly joys and know Jesus' joy!  Let's trust in Jesus' promises!  Let's experience Jesus' peace.  Come to Jesus and be made whole!