As I count my blessings this Thanksgiving, I am overflowing with gratitude for God’s touch on my life throughout the generations. I can testify with King David that the Lord has entrusted me with a “delightful inheritance” (Psalm 16:6). Then He graciously gave me the opportunity to share some of His touches with you in a book co-authored with my daughter Rachel-Ruth titled “Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation.”
As I have reflected on His touch in the past, I have been reminded to humbly renew my thanksgiving for His touch at present: restoring my health following cancer and bringing my son and myself through COVID, all while allowing me to continue to share His Word with others through writing and speaking. His touch has not only brought healing, it also has brought hope, peace, comfort, purpose, wisdom and so many other things besides.
So … I wonder. How has He touched you this past year? Look back. Then thank God with me for …
I. His Touch That Clarifies
- Read Matthew 9:27-31 and 20:29-34.
- List the similarities between the two stories.
- List the differences between the two stories.
- Why do you think Jesus questioned the men in both stories?
- What are some reasons that a blind person would not want to see?
- What do you need clarity about concerning: Your marriage? Your family? Your job or career? Your church? His truth?
- If you need clarity, what are some lessons you can learn from the men in these stories?
- How do the following verses confirm His “touch” that clarifies? Psalm 119:18; Luke 24:27-49; James 1:5.
II. His Touch That Cleanses
- Read Matthew 8:1-3.
- Describe leprosy as you understand it.
- Since Jesus could have healed the man with just a word, why do you think He touched him?
- How long do you think it had been since the leper had felt a human touch? See Leviticus 13:45-46.
- What could the physical disease of leprosy represent spiritually? See Psalm 38:3; 51:2; Isaiah 6:5-7.
- How do we receive His healing touch that cleanses?
- 1 John 1:7-9; Acts 2:36-38; Hebrews 9:23-28.
- When did you receive His touch that cleanses? If you can’t remember a specific time, how can you be sure you are cleansed?
III. His Touch That Changes
- Read Matthew 8:14-15.
- Describe the difference His touch made.
- Did Peter or his mother-in-law ask Jesus to heal her? What does this mean to you?
- What changes can Jesus make in a person’s life? Mark 5:35-42; Luke 5:17-26; John 1:12; 3:16; 5:25; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
- What in your life do you think is beyond Jesus’ ability or power to change? Bring your need to Jesus and ask Him for His touch that changes.
IV. His Touch That Calms
- Read Matthew 17:1-8.
- What were the disciples afraid of? How was their fear similar to the Israelites in Exodus 20:18-19?
- What difference did His personal touch make to Peter, James and John in Matthew 17:1-7? To the woman in Mark 5:25-34?
- How is this difference explained in Hebrews 12:18-24? 10:19-22?
- What does Jesus promise in John 14:27? 16:33?
- What are you afraid of? Who are you afraid of? Why? Would you ask Jesus for His touch that calms the fearful heart?
V. His Touch That Cares
- Describe the scene in Luke 18:15-17.
- While it’s obvious that Jesus cared about and loved little children, who also could they represent? See Luke 14:7-14.
- Give phrases from the following verses that indicate Jesus touched people because He cared about them: Matthew 9:35-36; 14:13-14; 15:29-38; 20:34; Mark 1:40-42.
- Who has touched you in Jesus’ Name? Who do you need to reach out and touch? See 2 Corinthians 1:3-5.
VI. His Touch That Commissions
- Describe John’s circumstances when Jesus touched him in Revelation 1:9-18.
- What was John commissioned to do in Revelation 1:19?
- Describe Saul’s circumstances when he also was touched from Acts 9:1-19.
- What was Saul, who became Paul, commissioned to do in Acts 26:15-18?
- Describe Mary Magdalene’s circumstances in John 20:1-17 when she was embraced by the Risen Lord, as implied in verse 17.
- What was Mary commissioned to do in John 20:17-18?
- What are your present circumstances?
- If Jesus has touched you in any way, you’ve been commissioned. What is it? Put Matthew 28:18-20 in your own words, as it relates to your own life.
Whom do you know who needs a fresh touch from Jesus? Someone who needs His clarity, His cleansing, His change, His calm and/or His care? This Thanksgiving, would you thank Him for His touch in your life by obeying His commission and extending His touch to someone else? ©2021 Anne Graham Lotz
This article is adapted from a study originally published in November 2012.
The Scripture quotation is taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version.
Anne Graham Lotz has proclaimed God’s Word worldwide for more than 40 years. Her newest book, which she co-authored with her daughter Rachel-Ruth Wright, is “Jesus Followers: Real-Life Lessons for Igniting Faith in the Next Generation.” It is available from major booksellers online.