“The Hem of His Garment”

By: Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr

God’s law is a wonder-causing law; it’s a dynamo of divine power! In Psalm 119:18 the Psalmist prays: “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law”.

The law uttered by the God of Fire out of the midst of fire is a generator of divine power, and it causes miracles (Ex. 19:16-18; Deut. 4:36, 5:22, 33:2).

Little wonder, the hem of Jesus’ garment emitted power to heal the sick! Like every devout Jew of His day, the hem of Jesus’ garment was made of fringes or tassels that served as a reminder of God’s spiritual commandments.

After a man was caught and punished for transgressing God’s Sabbath, the LORD instructed Moses:

“Speak to the people of Israel, and bid them to make tassels [fringes KJV] on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue; and it shall be to you a tassel to look upon and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to go after wantonly.

“So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God” (Num. 15:38-40 RSV).

The hem of Jesus’ garment which the woman with the flow of blood touched was decorated with such tassels representing God’s law. By touching the tassels, the woman tapped into the healing power of God present in Jesus. We read the inspiring story:

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

“Came behind Him, and touched the border of His garment and immediately her issue of blood stanched [stopped].

“And Jesus said, ‘Who touched Me?’ when all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, ‘Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, who touched Me?

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue [power] is gone out of Me.

“And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.

“And He said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole: go in peace” (Luke 8:43-48).

In Matthew’s account, we hear the woman say in faith, “If I only touch [the hem of] His garment, I shall be made well” (Matt. 9:21 RSV).

The woman had particular faith in the hem of Jesus’ garment; she must have recognized it as a carrier of divine power being symbolic of God’s fiery, miracle-causing law spoken out of fire (Deut. 5:22, 33:2; Ex. 19:16-18)!

And not only the woman with the issue of blood; many other sick folks Jesus’ day saw a particular virtue in touching the tassels of Jesus’ garment for their healing:

“And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.

“And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased;

“And besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole” (Matt. 14:34-36).

Healing power from the hem of Jesus’ garment as it were power from God’s law which Jesus personified as the ‘Living Torah’ (Matt. 5:17; John 8:46, 12:50; Heb. 4:15)!

God’s covenant people whom He has sealed with  His law are for signs and wonders in Israel (Isa. 18:16, 18). God’s law is a miracle-working law! It ‘dammed’ the river Jordan for the Israelites to walk on dry ground and fell down the walls of Jericho as it lay in the Ark of the covenant (Josh. 3:13-17, 6:1-20).

Although the Philistines claimed to have captured the Ark of the covenant at a time Israel had rebelled against God, it turned out they were rather the victims. Starting with their chief deity, Dagon, the power of God at work in His law struck terrors in all five cities of the Philistines until they sent it away with sacrifices and gifts of appeasement. Their god Dagon, in whom they had so much faith, was a complete walkover and in the most humiliating manner. The power of God’s covenant law dismembered him limb by limb until “only the stump of Dagon was left to him”. (Ref. 1 Sam. 5&6).

“Wondrous things”  indeed come from God’s law! In rewriting the Ten Commandments to replace the tablets Moses broke in anger at the Israelites for making the golden calf, God pointed out the power inherent in His covenant law:

“And He said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible [awesome] thing that I will do with thee” (Ex. 34:10).

The Ark of God, where His law is kept, is the ark of His strength among His people, for He shows Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect toward Him in obedience (Ps 132:8; 2 Chron. 16:9). In the wilderness as He led the Israelites by day in a pillar of cloud and by night in a pillar of fire (Ex. 13:20-21; Num. 9:15-20), Moses praised the Lord acknowledging the victorious power of His presence in the ark:

“And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, LORD and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.

“And when it rested, he said, Return, O LORD, unto the many thousands of Israel” (Num. 10:35-36).

God’s covenant people are the only ones who are able to make God arise and let His enemies be scattered (Ps 68:1-2). He makes that specific promise in Deut. 28:7:

“The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.”

God’s covenant people are a powerhouse as repositories of His fiery law in their hearts and minds (Heb. 8:10-11; Isa. 51:7).

The apostle Paul wrote to commend the obedience of the Thessalonian believers:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thess. 2:13).

To the Ephesians he wrote:

“Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the [word/law of] power that worketh in us,

“Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:20-21).

The power of God’s truth is a self-evident truth. The Lord Jesus said to the Jews of His day that envied Him for His miraculous works: “My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of doctrine [and its power], whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself” (John 7:16-17).

He then pointed out to them where they fell short, resulting in their inability to perform miracles as He did: “Did not Moses give you the law [that causes miracles], and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill Me [which would be a violation of the 6th commandment]? I have done one work [i.e. one miracle, the healing of the paralytic John 5], and ye all marvel.” (vv 19, 21).

Here, Christ showed the Jews the secret of His miracle power. He always pleased the Father because of His obedience to Him (John 8:29, 12:50). And the Father bore witness of Him by the miraculous works He did (John 5:36, 10:25).

Today, we need not physically touch the hem of Jesus’ garment to tap into God’s miracle power. The word is in our mouths and hearts (Rom. 10:6-8). As the New Covenant people of God, the LAW OF POWER, that is the LAW OF GOD THE POWER (Matt. 26:64), is within us (Heb. 8:10-12). We are instruments of divine power as was the ark when the law of God lay in it (see Ex. 25:16; Deut. 10:5; Heb. 9:5).When we keep His commandments, we come to dwell in Christ and He in us by His Holy Spirit (1 John 3:24). That is to say, we come to embody Christ and His power. From now on, our life takes on the supernatural, for we no longer live a life of our own but Christ Who lives in us (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:30; 1 Cor. 12:13; John 14:12).

Such was the supernatural life the apostles and members of the early Church lived. Their very bodies encasing the Christ life of Holiness and power transmitted divine power to heal the sick and cast out demons. In the streets of Jerusalem, Peter’s shadow healed the sick (Acts 5:15-16). And in Ephesus, handkerchiefs and aprons from Paul’s body also healed the sick and drove out evil spirits (Acts 19:11-12).The apostles had become a kind of ‘God’s ark of the covenant’ containing His fiery law of power.

In Revelation, God’s law as a centre of power in heaven is brought to our attention:

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of the testament: and there were lightenings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail” (Rev. 11:19).

The “holy, just and good” law (Rom. 7:12) conveys the very character of God and His power too. When we keep His commandments in truth, we become a conduit for His holiness and the excellency of His power (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12, 15; 2 Cor. 4:7). While we will suffer none of the diseases of the disobedient (Ex. 15:26, 23:25), God will at the same time make us a blessing to others. We will become “the hem of His garment” to them!  We shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover (Mark 16:18). Halleluiah!