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The Reformation Herald Online Edition

Jesus, Fully God

Growing in Christ
The Divine Touch
José Angel Usuga Góez
The Divine Touch

“We need to receive the divine touch, that we may understand our work in the home.”1

The story of the old violin

In a public auction long ago, there were many objects, some new, and some old; some big and some small. Among the items ready to be sold was an old, scarred and battered violin. Apparently useless, it did not arouse much interest among those present. The auctioneer held up the poor violin as he cried: “What am I bid, good people, who will start the bidding for me? One dollar, one dollar, do I hear two?”

At that moment there was complete silence in the room. Finally a lady stood up and said: “I bid one dollar for the violin.” The auctioneer asked again: “Is there anyone who will bid two dollars for this violin?”

But there was no answer. Since there was no one to bid more for the old violin, from the back of the room a gray bearded man stood up and came forward—and as he came near to the auctioneer, he took the old violin and started to play a melody, and—oh, what an amazing moment! It was a big surprise for the people in the room when they saw that old man, a true artist, playing the sweetest notes they had ever heard in their life, from that old, scarred violin.

Without saying anything, the musician returned the violin to its place and left the auction. Then the auctioneer asked again: “Is there anyone who bids more for this violin?” Suddenly, the voices of the multitude started to cry from everywhere. Now they all wanted to bid more for the sake of having this amazing relic. From the delirious crowd, some offered five hundred, others a thousand as they began bidding more and more.

But what caused this rise in the price of the old violin? Was it not the same instrument that had been of so little worth just a few minutes ago?

Yes, it was the same instrument as before, but now, the thing that made the difference in the violin was the touch of the master’s hand, the talent and gift of a true artist—and the beautiful music playing there had made the change in the room, and suddenly caused the value of the old instrument to soar.

My dear friend, we are not worthy of anything—and neither do we sound like beautiful music until we receive the divine touch of the Supreme Artist. That touch of the Master’s hand is the only thing that will make the difference in our life!

A transforming touch

In Genesis 32:25–29, we read about how the patriarch Jacob and his family were returning to Canaan, their homeland. When Jacob knew that his brother Esau was coming on his way to meet him with four hundred warriors, his heart fainted and his body trembled. He vividly recalled the obvious sentiments of his angry brother from twenty years before: “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob” (Genesis 27:41). Jacob’s sin now awakened his conscience; memories and gloomy thoughts overwhelmed him. He remembered how he had deceived his brother and his father in his eagerness to obtain the birthright. As a good leader he was seeking now for the safety and integrity of his numerous and helpless caravan. Sending his family ahead after crossing the river Jabbok, Jacob strolled among those lonely mountains in the darkness, to spend the night in prayer and meditation with the Lord.

Until midnight, Jacob was wrestling in his mind as he claimed the Lord’s promises and prayed for forgiveness of his sins. But suddenly, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Thinking it was an enemy, he wrestled with him with all the strength of his being. Though exhausted, Jacob never gave up. It was an unequal fight, but his faith and perseverance were invincible.

The determined suppliant had not known that he was fighting with God, but when he realized it, he held onto Him with such strong faith that it made him a conqueror. Persisting in the struggle until dawn, he claimed to the heavenly messenger: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26). Jacob did not want to give up; the opportunity was so precious for him that he would do anything to receive the blessing. In that memorable dawn, the patriarch was touch by the Lord in the hollow of his thigh. He was forgiven, he was blessed, and he left that place a conqueror; a transformed man, with a new name as a symbol of his fighting, perseverance and victory: ISRAEL (overcomer).2

“Who of us have emptied ourselves of pride and self-esteem? Who of us are really in earnest as was Jacob, who wrestled with the angel with all the energy of his being? Jacob put forth all his strength, supposing that he was wrestling with a lawless opponent, but the Lord put His finger with a divine touch upon him, and the wrestling ceased. Jacob knew that it was the Lord. Then, all broken, he fell upon the neck of the Angel, and held Him, pleading, ‘Bless me, even me.’”3

The healing touch

Let us gain encouragement from some wonderful experiences recorded from the life of Jesus:

“It came to pass, when [Jesus] was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him” (Luke 5:12, 13).

Leprosy was viewed as a symbol of sin, like a sign of a curse—even as a sentence of death. But Christ, the divine healer, touched this man and healed him from his leprosy. In the same way, the Lord has the power to touch the most hardened, helpless sinner, declaring him or her free and clean from their spiritual disease.

The inhabitants of Gennesaret were so eager to touch the robe of Christ. “When the men of that place [Gennesaret] had knowledge of [Jesus], they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole” (Matthew 14:35, 36). These “ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch” (Mark 6:55, 56).

“Christ was the mighty Healer of all spiritual and physical maladies. Look, O look, upon the sympathetic Redeemer. With the eye of faith behold Him walking in the streets of the cities, gathering the weak and weary to Himself. Helpless, sinful human beings crowd about Him. See the mothers with their sick and dying little ones in their arms pressing through the crowd that they may get within reach of His notice and touch. Let the eye of faith take in the scene. Watch these mothers pressing their way to Him, pale, weary, almost despairing, yet determined and persevering, bearing their burden of suffering in their arms.”4

The touch of faith

One day, as Jesus and His disciples were passing through the thick crowd of the multitudes that thronged Him, “a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind [Jesus], and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole” (Matthew 9:20, 21).

“When the woman reached forth her hand and touched the hem of His garment, she thought this stealthy touch would not be known by anyone; but Christ recognized that touch and responded to her faith by His healing power. She realized in a moment that she was made whole, and the Lord Jesus would not let such faith pass unnoticed. He turned Him about quickly and said, ‘Who touched me?’ All the disciples were pressing close around Him, and Peter said, ‘The multitude thee and press thee, and sayest thou, who touched me? And Jesus said: Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me’ (Luke 8:45, 46).

“When the woman saw that she was not hid she came tremblingly and cast herself at His feet, telling the whole story. For twelve years she had been afflicted, but as soon as her finger touched the hem of His garment she was made whole. Jesus said to her, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace”. The mere touch of faith brought its reward’ (Verse 48).”5

“And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them” (Acts 5:14, 15).

The redeeming touch

Isaiah was called to the prophetic ministry some 750 years before the arrival of the Babe of Bethlehem, in the same year that Uzziah, king of Judah, died. While the legions of Syria threatened the peace and the stability of the kingdom of Judah, young Isaiah was chosen by God to be the spokesman for His people. As Isaiah beheld the glory and majesty of God seated in His high and exalted throne, the young prophet exclaimed: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (Isaiah 6:5–7).

As a result, a profound change suddenly took place in the attitude of the prophet:

“Isaiah had denounced the sin of others; but now he sees himself exposed to the same condemnation he had pronounced upon them. He had been satisfied with a cold, lifeless ceremony in his worship of God. He had not known this until the vision was given him of the Lord. How little now appeared his wisdom and talents as he looked upon the sacredness and majesty of the sanctuary. How unworthy he was! how unfitted for sacred service!

The vision given to Isaiah represents the condition of God’s people in the last days. They are privileged to see by faith the work that is going forward in the heavenly sanctuary. ‘And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament’ (Revelation 11:19). As they look by faith into the holy of holies, and see the work of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, they perceive that they are a people of unclean lips—a people whose lips have often spoken vanity, and whose talents have not been sanctified and employed to the glory of God. Well may they despair as they contrast their own weakness and unworthiness with the purity and loveliness of the glorious character of Christ. But if they, like Isaiah, will receive the impression the Lord designs shall be made upon the heart, if they will humble their souls before God, there is hope for them. The bow of promise is above the throne, and the work done for Isaiah will be performed in them. God will respond to the petitions coming from the contrite heart.”6

My dear, loving brethren, sisters, friends—may the soul of each of us be touched and renewed by our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.

1 Life Sketches, p. 345.
2 Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 197; The Great Controversy, pp. 674, 675.
3 This Day With God, p. 298.
4 The Upward Look, p. 24.
5 In Heavenly Places, p. 108.
6 The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 4, p. 1139.