Matthew 14:34-36 The Hem Of His Garment.

Matthew 14:34-36 The Hem Of His Garment.

It would be easy to pass over these verses if one did not take into account the context. Jesus had been healing the sick, casting out demons, and preaching the good news of the kingdom that had come. People marveled that the sick were healed, and many came to Jesus for this reason. They also marveled when demons were cast out, and the apostate religious leadership tried to argue that Jesus was able to cast out demons by the power of Satan. Jesus then made clear that if the source of his power was the Devil, then the Devil would be destroying his own kingdom. Rather, Jesus casting out demons was a clear sign that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.

However, something else happened when Jesus demonstrated his power over creation, when he saved Peter from drowning in the sea, “and when they got into the boat, the wind ceased” (v. 31). From ancient times it was understood that only the Creator could say, “This far you may come, but no farther, and here your proud waves must stop!” (Job 38:11) The disciples knew then that Jesus was no ordinary man. “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Truly You are the Son of God’” (v. 33). So when they crossed over the sea to the land of Geneseret, and the people recognized him as the one who was able to heal the sick, they brought all who were sick to him (vv. 34-35).

However, now those who were with him, his disciples, knew him truly as the Son of God. It only made sense that he who made all things, and governs all things, can restore all things to make things whole. Jesus the Christ makes people whole. The people understood that if they could but touch the hem of his garment they could be healed and made whole. “And as many as touched it were made perfectly well” (v. 36). The woman who suffered from a hemorrhage for some twelve years understood this (9:20ff.). It would be easy to pass over the mention of his garment, but it is not insignificant that we read that they touched the fringe or hem of his cloak.

As the Anointed One his cloak carried great significance, especially its colour. As the Prophet, High Priest, and King, the hem of his garment symbolized his threefold office as the anointed Mediator of the covenant – blue that symbolized the word, red or scarlet the blood, and purple for royalty (Cf. Ex. 28:33). Jesus was the reality that the Aaronic order could only point to (Cf. Ex. 39:1ff.).* To touch the hem of his garment was a confession of him as the anointed one indeed. It was the tassels of blue in particular that gave prominence to the word, such that the sons of the covenant were also to wear, to remind them to keep the LORD’s commandments (Nu. 15:37).


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