Seeing, Hearing, Touching Jesus

by Rev. Jonathan C. Watt

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Touch Me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have. (Luke 24:39 ESV)

That is what Jesus said to His disciples in the locked room after He had risen from the dead. He wanted them to know He was flesh and blood and not a ghost. “Touch Me!” He said.

Oh, to touch Jesus! What a gift! To come to grips with the reality of our Savior from sin. To hear Him with these ears, to see Him with these eyes, and to touch Him with these hands.

Read John 1:1–4: How does John describe Jesus’ ministry?

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Read Job 19:1–27: What does Job believe about his Savior, in spite of his desperate situation?

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Jesus’ ministry was always a ministry of seeing, hearing, and touching. People stood on their tiptoes just to see Jesus passing by. Crowds pressed in on Him, listening, hanging on every word He spoke. The sick reached out to Him to receive His healing touch. “Touch Me,” Jesus said. Oh, to touch Jesus! What a gift! To see God face to face, to hear God’s Word from His lips, to be touched by Him and healed.

Read Luke 19:1–10: What was Zacchaeus looking for at first? What did he end up receiving from Jesus?

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Read Mark 2:1–12: What two gifts did the paralyzed man receive from Jesus?

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Read Mark 5:24b–34: Was it only healing that brought peace to the woman who was healed? What about for us now?

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Jesus’ ministry remains a ministry of seeing, hearing, and touching. The baptized children of God gather to see, hear, and touch God. This is the ministry of Word and Sacrament. What Jesus gives us is bigger than the physical; it is the eternal. He takes care of our greatest need, just like those who gathered around Him when He was seen in His human body—we, as they did, receive the forgiveness of sins through seeing, hearing, and touching Jesus.

Read Acts 2:36–39: What two things does God use in Peter’s sermon to bring forgiveness?

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Read 1 Cor. 10:16–17: St. Paul talks about “participation” (or “fellowship”) in the body and blood of Christ. How do we see, hear, and touch Jesus in Holy Communion?

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“Touch Me!” Jesus said. Oh, to touch Jesus! What a gift! To see God face to face, to hear God’s Word from His lips, to be touched by Him and healed. We confess in the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in the resurrection of the body.” This is not an empty hope. God, through the work of Jesus, promises that we will be seeing, hearing, and touching Him forever.

Read John 5:25–29: How will the dead know when “the hour” has come?

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Read 1 Cor. 15:42–49: What does St. Paul say our resurrected “spiritual body” will be like?

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Read Phil. 3:20–21: What “seeing, hearing, and touching” promise of God can those who are “citizens of heaven” look forward to?

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“Touch Me!” Jesus said. Oh, to touch Jesus! What a gift! To come to grips with the reality of our Savior from sin! To hear Him with these ears, to see Him with these eyes, and to touch Him with these hands!

This is the joy of Easter!

He brings me to the portal
That leads to bliss untold,
Whereon this rhyme immortal
Is found in script of gold:
“Who there My cross has shared
Finds here a crown prepared;
Who there with Me has died
Shall here be glorified.”

—“Awake, My Heart, with Gladness,” LSB 467

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