“Then he placed his right hand on me... “ - Revelation 1:17
Throughout his teaching ministry, Jesus gained a reputation for reaching out and touching people. When people with leprosy cried out to be healed, Jesus touched them. He touched the eyes of people who were blind. Touch was an integral component to Jesus’ healing ministry.
We see the gift of Jesus’ touch in this passage of Revelation too. John fell at Jesus’ feet—as though he were dead—because he could not remain standing in the Lord’s presence. Jesus responded to John’s fear by reaching out, placing his right hand on him, and saying, “Do not be afraid.”
What a calming touch Jesus provided! What powerful words of assurance he spoke! This story does more than just provide a picture of what happened to John on the island of Patmos when he stood face to face with Jesus. This reveals who Jesus is as the ascended and exalted Son of God: Jesus is the Lord of love and compassion. Just as when Jesus came to bring the good news of the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-34), touch is central to his healing ministry.
The Spirit of God invites us to see ourselves in this picture. Jesus reaches out to us. He puts his right hand on us, and we hear him say these powerful words: “Do not be afraid.”
May we be comforted today by Jesus’ touch, his words of assurance, and his presence that removes our fear.