THEY TOUCHED THE TALITH
53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. Mark 6:53-56
How did Jesus manage to keep up a schedule like His? Interrupted by a huge crowd when He was trying to get some “me time”, He put aside His own needs and taught the people all day. After feeding them and sending them away, He prayed all night, and then walked a distance on the water to catch up with His disciples. Then He was met by another crowd clamouring for attention, and many for healing. It seems that He moved around in that area from village to village and town to town, healing and preaching day after day.
There is another reference to His “talith” in this passage. “They begged Him to let them even touch the hem of His coat (the tassels of His talith) and all who touched Him were healed” (Vs 56). What was the significance of this? Malachi 4:2 – “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will with healing in its wings.” Were the people aware of the powerful imagery of Messiah in this prophecy? The tassels on His talith symbolised God’s name, God’s nature, God’s word and God’s presence.
The “kanaph” – the corners of the talith – are translated as wings which held the tassels. To touch the “hem of his garment” implied that their faith rested in everything the tassels represented. Jesus became the channel through which the healing power of God flowed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The faith of each person touching Him opened them up to the healing power of the Spirit flowing through Jesus.
In all this frantic activity around Him, how did He experience rest and replenish His strength? He maintained a constant awareness of the Father’s presence and tapped into God by remaining in the Father. He counsels us to do the same in the midst of demands, busyness, interruptions and responsibilities. To remain in Him keeps us connected to the source of strength and rest. We become channels that are constantly being replenished, not reservoirs that can run dry with no permanent inlet from God.