Luke indicated that people were bringing even infants to Jesus (Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη). Thus, he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται). However, when the disciples saw this (ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ), they sternly ordered or rebuked them not to do that (ἐπετίμων αὐτοῖς). This story about the little children can be found in Mark, chapter 10:13, and Matthew, chapter 19:13, almost word for word. Mark said that people were bringing little children, not infants as in Luke, to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται). However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus. Matthew said that little children were brought to Jesus (Τότε προσηνέχθησαν αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might lay his hands on them (ἵνα τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιθῇ αὐτοῖς) and pray for them (καὶ προσεύξηται), which was not in Mark or Luke. However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought them to Jesus. There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children or infants in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus. Do you like little children?
Luke uniquely said that the Pharisee (ὁ Φαρισαῖος), who had invited Jesus (ὁ καλέσας αὐτὸν), saw this (ἰδὼν δὲ). This Pharisee said to himself (εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων) that if Jesus was a prophet (Οὗτος εἰ ἦν προφήτης), he would have known (ἐγίνωσκεν) who and what sort of woman was touching him (ἂν τίς καὶ ποταπὴ ἡ γυνὴ ἥτις ἅπτεται αὐτοῦ). She was a public sinner (τι ἁμαρτωλός ἐστιν). In the other gospel stories, there was a complaint about wasting expensive oil on Jesus, but here the inner thoughts of the Pharisee seem to indicate that Jesus did not know or understand who he was dealing with. Would you let a sinful person touch you?
Luke said that all the people in the crowds were trying to touch Jesus (καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐζήτουν ἅπτεσθαι αὐτοῦ). Power came out from him (ὅτι δύναμις παρ’ αὐτοῦ), as he went around healing all of them (ἐξήρχετο καὶ ἰᾶτο πάντας). Mark, chapter 3:10, said that Jesus had cured many people, so that everyone pressed or crushed around him. All the people with diseases hoped to touch him to be healed of their illness. Jesus had a magic like healing power.
Both Matthew, chapter 20:34, and Luke, chapter 18:42-43, are similar, but Mark did not mention compassion or pity. Neither did he touch his eyes. Instead, Mark indicated that Jesus told him to go (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ὕπαγε) because his faith had healed him (ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε). Immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς), he regained his sight (ἀνέβλεψεν) and followed Jesus on his way (καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ), as Bartimaeus became a disciple of Jesus. There was no physical contact in this healing of the blind man.
This story about the little children can be found in Matthew, chapter 19:13, and Luke, chapter 18:15. Mark said that people were bringing little children to Jesus (Καὶ προσέφερον αὐτῷ παιδία), so that he might touch them (ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅψηται). Matthew had mentioned hand laying and praying for them, but that is not here. However, the disciples spoke sternly or admonished those people (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς) who brought these children to Jesus. There seemed to be a conflict between Jesus, who valued little children in the Jewish tradition, and his disciples, who wanted to keep them away from Jesus.
This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark, who said that Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida (Καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς Βηθσαϊδάν) that was at the upper northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Then some people brought a blind man to Jesus (Καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ τυφλὸν). They begged, implored, exhorted, or encouraged Jesus to touch this blind man (καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα αὐτοῦ ἅψηται). Once again, there was an emphasis on a physical healing that included the touching of Jesus.
There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 14:36. Mark seems to emphasize the various places that these sick people were coming from. Mark said that wherever Jesus traveled (καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο), whether in villages (εἰς κώμας), in cities (ἢ εἰς πόλεις), or in country areas or farms (εἰς ἀγροὺς), they were placing or laying those ailing or sick people in the public market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας). They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) to touch the fringe or the tassel of his clothing (ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται). Everyone who touched him was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο). These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus. They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch. They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat in order to be healed like the woman with the excessive blood flow.
This is another unique summary by Mark, where traces can be found in the other synoptic gospels. Mark said that Jesus had cured many people (πολλοὺς γὰρ ἐθεράπευσεν). Thus, everyone pressed or crushed around him (ὥστε ἐπιπίπτειν αὐτῷ). All the people with diseases hoped to touch him (ἵνα αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται ὅσοι εἶχον μάστιγας). They all wanted to be healed of their illness.
There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 6:54-56. Once the people of this area realized and recognized that this was Jesus (καὶ ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν), the men of that place sent word throughout the surrounding region (οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην). They bought all the sick people to him (καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας). They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν), if only they might touch the fringe or the tassel of his tunic coat (ἵνα μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ). Everyone who touched this fringe or tassel was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ψαντο διεσώθησαν). These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus. They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch. They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat.
There are material dimensions to our life. We are flesh, not just a spiritual soul. We know about physical beauty and wealth. If you are wealthy and the right race, does that prove that God loves you? In reality, the physical world is morally neutral and can be an asset or a liability. A disability can lead either to self-pity or courage. Sex can either be an act of love or manipulation. Wealth can be a power to help others or a path to greed. We have to accept ourselves and who we are. Thus, we have to let God shine through us. We must bring our senses of touch, smell, and hearing into our faith. We have to appreciate the beauty in the world around us. Christians believe in an incarnation theology. Jesus was truly in this world. Do not fear the body, imagination or the aesthetic sense. Your imagination uses myths and images to help you describe God, whether it be in music, art, or literature.