Have you ever felt like an outcast? This is a show of hope and possibility.
In the Old Testament, because the righteousness of Israel could not overcome the sin and unrighteousness of Egypt, Israelites were given a law that separated them from that unrighteousness.
In the New Testament, however, Jesus reaches out and touches those very people.
Because his righteousness is powerful enough to overcome the darkness and unrighteousness in this world. He cleanses us so that we can come and touch the Son of God.
It is the people who feel like outcasts that Jesus longs to touch. He longs to give their lives significance and meaning. Jeff explains the context behind the bible passage about the woman who touched Jesus’ garment (Mark 5:25-34) and shows you ways to reach out and touch him today.
Snippet from the Show
“The Jews believed that in the days of Jesus, when the Messiah finally comes, he will have healing in his tassels on the four corners of his garment and they will have healing virtue.”
The corner of the tzit tzit is called the kanaph, the corner or edge. This word can also be translated as “wings” in Hebrew.
Elements of the Prayer Shawl
- Seven White strings & one blue thread.
- Seven represented completeness and covenant.
- White symbolizes purity
- Blue symbolizes unity
- Eight: New Beginnings
Mark 5:25-34 – Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Matthew 23:5 – They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long
Deuteronomy 22:12 – Make tassels on the four corners of your garment.
Numbers 15: 38 – Make tassels on the corners with a blue cord on each tassel…remember the commands of the Lord.
Malachi 4:2 – But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
Zechariah 8:23 – Ten people, ten nations will come from nations and crowd in around one Jew and will reach for the corner of the garment. Because we have heard that God is with you.
1 Samuel 24 – When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness of En-gedi.” Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to look for David and his men in the direction of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds beside the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. The men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David went and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. Afterward David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to raise my hand against him; for he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David scolded his men severely and did not permit them to attack Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave, and went on his way.
I enjoyed your explanation of the prayer shawl and its tassels. I often think that if we understood more of Jewish tradition, then more in the Bible would make sense to us. I had the wonderful opportunity to teach a year in a Jewish school, then continue a friendship with one of their teachers for many years. Being a cradle Catholic, this opened up so many insights for me when listening or reading Scripture. When it came time for me to costume “The Fiddler on the Roof”, I had a great resource on how to make the experience authentic. We handmade all of the prayer shawls for the cast, being careful to make them look as authentic as possible, but making intentional mistakes so that we were not desecrating something holy and precious to the Jewish tradition. It was very prayer-like to pay so much attention to our tasks with so much intention. Your explanations of what the tassels mean gives even more connection to that event. Thank you for sharing and being such a gifted scholar.
Thank you, Jeff! You touched on this at School of Prayer before Christmas. I located your show notes of your podcast and constructed my own class from your lesson! I have added this to my religious education in Maronite Christian Formation at Saint Maron Maronite Church, MPLS, and will address our adult service clubs with this lesson. I even ordered a tallit to demonstrate the story. Thank you so very much – you are always shedding new life on Scripture. Blessings, Joannie Moses