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(from Good Word Online):?

Leading Question: “Why did people think there was healing power in touching Jesus’ clothes?”


  • Touching Jesus’ clothes: Mark 5:21-34
  • Laying aside his garments: John 13:1-16
  • Rending garments: Lev 21:10 vs. Mat 26:59-68

This week’s lesson focuses on three incidents in the life of Jesus in which “garments” play a prominent part. The lessons are diverse, the questions sometimes puzzling.

Touching Jesus’ clothes. In Mark 5:21-34, a woman was healed because she touched Jesus’ garment. How is this different from simple magic? Does God use the physical symbols as means of spiritual healing? With the leper, Jesus showed a healing, personal touch (Mark 1:41), but why would God use the more impersonal method of healing that involved simply touching his garment?

Laying aside his garments. John 13 records the remarkable story of Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet. In short, he laid aside his garment and became a servant. How should this example be lived out by those who follow Jesus? In our modern world, leaders are not expected to be humble servants. Indeed that was the case in Jesus’ day, too. When James and John asked for the top places in the kingdom, Jesus’ response was pointed: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and their great ones exercise authority over them. It will not be so among you.” (Mat 20:25-26). Has the world gone to far in imitating the world? How could we go about restoring Jesus’ approach to service in the church?

Rending garments. Leviticus 21:10 prohibited the high priest from rending his garments. Yet at Jesus’ trial, the high priest did just that (Mat 26:59-68). Are there circumstances that would allow for us to show our horror by breaking specific commands? How can the spirit of Jesus permeate the church so that all believers can treat each other with respect?