"Reach of Faith"

"Reach of Faith"

This is a rendering is of the story in three of the gospels concerning the woman healed from her twelve year illness of uncontrolled bleeding.

After spending much money without a cure she was desperate and at the end of her rope. Because of her type of illness, she was considered "unclean" by Levitical law; a social outcast. She could have been severely disciplined, even stoned, for touching anyone in public. Yet she risked her life to push through the crowd to touch Jesus. He could have just let her touch him and quietly keep moving but he didn't. He publicly put her on the spot even more by insisting he be told who touched him. Wasn't that putting her life more at risk? In fact, it turned out to be the opposite. By acknowledging her and publicly speaking highly of her great faith, he ended up pardoning her to anyone who might have disciplined her after he left. He also may have wanted the woman and the crowd to know that His garments had not caused her to be healed, but her faith.

I often wondered why the woman would touch the hem of Jesus' garment to be healed. Jewish tradition does imply some possibilities. One tradition points to the corner of the hem that held the tassels. Jewish tassels are not the tassels we think of in our western culture. They are much longer with several knots and made a specific way to represent the Word of God. Jewish men were to wear a tassel or "tzitzit" with a thread of blue on the four corners of their garment or on the prayer shawl as required by the Old Testament law. Doing so was a public testimony of their faith to remind them of God's Commandments; not just the Ten Commandments but all 613 laws of Moses. Each tzitzit tassel has 5 double knots made with 8 threads (three white threads and one blue thread folded in half to make eight). 5 + 8 = 13. Each Hebrew word also has a number assinged to it. The Hebrew word for tzitzit has the numeric value 600. 600 + 13 = 613. The Ten Commandments are also represented; five double knots or 5 x 2 = 10.

The four corners of both the garment or the "tallit" (or prayer shawls common today) hold a tassel on each corner and also hold much significance. In several scripture passages, the Hebrew word for corner, edge or hem of a sleeve or skirt can also be translated as"wing". (See Strong's Concordance #3671.) For this reason, the corners of the garments or "tallits" are often called wings, in comparison to the fringe-like feathers at the tip of a bird's wing. During the first century there were several traditions associated with the tzitzit concerning Messiah. One was that these knotted fringes or wings possessed healing powers. This tradition has its roots in the prophecy of Malachi 4:2 stating, "But for you who fear My name the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings."

The tallits were mostly used as a prayer covering (or small tent) to shut out the world and be in the presence of God. This practice was like a prayer closet and is likely what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 6. It is also used as the secret place of the Most High and under his wings (Ps. 91:1-4)

The tzitzit corners also represented God's authority. The rabbis say that if all four tzitzit are not on a tallit or garment, it is rendered invalid. Twice in 1 Samuel this was evident in King Saul's life. Once King Saul tore the corner (likely the tzitzit corner) off Samuel's garment and David also cut a corner off King Saul's garment. Both represented the severing of God's authority and presence from King Saul's life due to his disobedience.

In summary, the tallit and tzitzit represent God's Word and Commandments, God's authority, God's presence in prayer and the healing in God's wings.

Certianly the hemorraging woman at least heard of these traditions. Imagine! The living breathing Word of God in the flesh, the Messiah and Son of Righteousness himself, walking with te tallit that represented... Him, His authoritive teachings, His presence and His healing power. After hearing the stories about Jesus' teachings and healings, is it any wonder she expressed her faith in Jesus as the Son of Righteousness with healing in His Wings?

The power did not come from the tzitzit or the corner of the garment, but in the faith she had in Jesus and what His garment represented. Jesus said, "Daughter, you faith has healed you." The power of the Holy Spirit residing in Jesus flowed out of Him and healed her upon her act of faith. The tassels were a point of contact she used to release her faith and receive a miracle in her life. She was healed and made whole again when her faith touched the Holy Spirit power of God and the One who could heal all infirmities!

All of us are in need of something. We too can reach for Him. In faith through prayer reach out and touch the hem of His garment. He is just waiting for you to ask, and ask in His name.



All prints have these bible quote and title at bottom of the prints:

"For she said to herself, 'If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made whole' ". Matthew 9:21

"...and begged Him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak and all who touched Him were healed." Matthew 14:36


12 x 20 prints are available for $40


18 x 30 prints are available for $55